Woman 'died from blood clot after being prescribed contraceptive pill'

Charlotte Foster
Charlotte Foster

A normally fit and healthy 23-year-old woman collapsed and died from a blood clot five months after being prescribed the combined contraceptive pill, an inquest has heard.

Charlotte Foster went into cardiac arrest at her workplace after a thrombosis thought to have arisen in her pelvis or leg caused a "massive" embolism in her lungs.

A hearing at Shropshire Coroner's Court was told Miss Foster was seen by a GP - who noted no signs of a deep vein thrombosis - three weeks before her death.

Miss Foster, from Newport, near Telford, died at the town's Princess Royal Hospital in January this year, three days after her collapse.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Dr Nigel Tuft, a consultant anaesthetist at the hospital, said efforts were made to resuscitate Miss Foster before her arrival.

The customer category executive, who worked for dairy firm Muller, then received treatment to ease swelling to her brain but died on January 25.

Dr Tuft told the hearing that CT scans had shown Miss Foster was not suffering from any tumours likely to have caused the pulmonary embolism.

After Miss Foster's death, the consultant said, he had multiple discussions with her close family, and had concluded that her only risk factor was that she was taking the oral contraceptive.

Dr Tuft told the inquest: "The most likely site for the pulmonary embolism to arise is in the veins of the pelvis and the upper leg.

"These can cause no symptoms whatsoever or they can cause symptoms or deep vein thrombosis."

The inquest heard that there has been an awareness of a small but heightened risk of bloods clots linked to contraceptive pills since the 1970s.

Miss Foster was given a three-month prescription of Dianette as a contraceptive and to combat acne in August last year, having advised her GP of a family history of pulmonary embolism and breast cancer.

She then returned to see a different GP at her surgery in Newport in October last year, and was given a continuing prescription for Dianette after reporting no side effects.

The Shropshire Coroner, John Ellery, heard evidence that Miss Foster went back to the surgery on January 4 with pain in her lower back, extending down to her knee.