herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Tragic Lauren died of brain haemorrhage after starting the pill

Lauren Johnson died at Beaumont Hospital following a brain haemorrhage
Lauren Johnson died at Beaumont Hospital following a brain haemorrhage

A young woman died from a brain haemorrhage just weeks after starting the contraceptive pill.

Friends concerned for Lauren Johnson (23), from Castle Grove, Swords, found her semi-conscious in bed at home on September 3, 2015.

She died due to a blood clot and associated haemorrhage in the brain at Beaumont Hospital four days later.

Ms Johnson, known to her friends and family as "Rosy", had spent a year in Japan and was working as a Japanese translator in Dublin.

She was suffering from persistent headaches in the weeks leading up to her death, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

Her parents were away in Portugal when she became ill.

She visited her local GP in Swords on September 1, 2015, two days before she was hospitalised, complaining of headache and visual disturbance.

"She complained a lot about this headache that wouldn't go away," said her best friend, Kevin Gannon.

He became concerned when he received no reply to his texts and calls. "We talked every day," he said.

On September 3, he found Ms Johnson in bed at her house.

"She was groggy and couldn't string a sentence together," Mr Gannon said. An ambulance was called.

"They asked her if she had taken tablets before and she replied 'yes', but she had never done that before," he said.

There was a packet of paracetamol with 16 tablets missing at the house.

Family members said she had been taking paracetamol for her headaches.

Paramedics rushed the woman to the Beaumont Hospital.

On a handover sheet for hospital staff they wrote "query overdose".

Tearful

She was admitted with a suspected paracetamol overdose at 1.35pm on September 3.

She was triaged as a category two patient, meaning she had to be seen by a doctor within 15 minutes.

Dr Farah Mustafa saw Ms Johnson at 1.50pm and said the patient was tearful and drowsy but her vital signs were normal.

She ordered a blood test and a review by a psychiatrist.

At 6.50pm, the psychiatrist approached the doctor, having spoken to Ms Johnson's friends waiting in the emergency department (ED).

"When he expressed concern that she hadn't seen psychiatric services in Beaumont before, that made me concerned," said Dr Mustafa.

A CT scan and further tests revealed a blood clot in the brain. Ms Johnson's parents, Brian and Sandra Johnson, returned to Dublin.

"She was weak and uncoordinated. They were doing more tests," Mr Johnson told the court.

Despite efforts to save her, Ms Johnson died on September 7.

The condition she developed, a blood clot that entered the brain through the jugular vein, and associated haemorrhaging, is very rare, according to consultant neurologist at Beaumont Hospital, Dr Lisa Costello.

Ms Johnson's GP records revealed she had started taking the contraceptive pill in July 2015.

Blood clots in the veins are a known risk factor in taking the contraceptive.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane adjourned the inquest for additional pharmacological evidence.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News