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Third case settled for death linked to contraceptive pill

A medical negligence claim brought by the family of Sophie Murray following her death from a blood clot linked to the contraceptive pill has been settled.

Posted on 11 October 2019

This is the third case settled by Leigh Day’s clinical negligence team on behalf of the families of young women who died after their symptoms of blood clots were missed.

Sophie, died in November 2015 aged 16. She has been taking the combined contraceptive pill for 15 months. In October 2015 she began to complain of difficulty breathing and went to her GP who diagnosed exercise-induced asthma. However, her symptoms got worse and she visited the GP surgery three more times complaining that she was still struggling to breathe.

Two days after her final visit to the GP Sophie woke up feeling very unwell. She complained that she couldn’t breathe and was turning blue. She was immediately taken to the hospital by emergency ambulance. She died shortly after her arrival in hospital.

Sophie died of a blood clot which had travelled to her lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism. Her family contacted Suzanne White, head of clinical negligence at Leigh Day to bring a legal claim against the Medical Protection Society who represent Sophie’s GP.

The legal claim has now been settled on a without prejudice basis.

Suzanne has also successfully settle cases on behalf of two other families following the deaths of their loved ones related to the contraceptive pill.

In May 2015 Fallan Kurek died as a result of a blood clot on her lungs which resulted in her suffering a cardiac arrest. The 21-year-old had visited her local community hospital on a number of occasions complaining of chest pains, breathlessness and pain in her leg. Her pain was diagnosed as muscular.

Charlotte Foster, 23, died in January 2016 after taking the combined contraceptive pill Dianette for just a few months. She has visited her GP surgery with pain in her back but it was also dismissed as muscular pain. She later collapsed at work and died in hospital.

Yesterday, it was reported that another woman had died following taking the ‘Yasmin ‘ contraceptive pill. The inquest into the death of Susan Walton concluded that she had died from a blood clot linked to the pill.

Sophie’s mum, Shelley Crichton, said:

“No amount of money can bring our beautiful daughter Sophie back but I hope that by bringing this legal claim we have made all the healthcare professionals involved sit up and think about the need to be aware of the risks of blood clots from the contraceptive pill. These risks need to be at the forefront of their mind when they treat patients who are taking the pill and complaining of similar symptoms.”

Suzanne White, head of clinical negligence at Leigh day who represented the families of all three women, said:

“These are utterly heartbreaking cases. We believe that the deaths of Sophie, Charlotte and Fallan could all have been avoided had their symptoms being taken more seriously and considered as possible blood clots. The risks of blood clots associated with the contraceptive pill are known but healthcare professionals must be clear about the risks when advising their patients with  the tell tale symptoms associated with blood clots and DVT so that appropriate treatment is considered at the earliest possible opportunity.”