Woman had fatal heart attack due to years of taking antipsychotics, inquest hears

An inquest jury has identified a series of failings in medical services following the death of a woman suffering with mental health issues for nearly 20 years.

The long-term side-effects of an antipsychotic drug given 58-year-old Elaine Mylchreest caused her to die of heart problems, the hearing at South Manchester Coroner’s Court in Stockport concluded.

Elaine, of Woodchurch Walk, Sale was found collapsed on a sofa in the Medlock Ward on the Moorside Unit at Trafford General Hospital on December 15 2019.

Attempts to revive her by the hospital’s crash team were unsuccessful.

The 11-member jury said that the medical cause of death was myocardial ischemia – which reduces the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood – and dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged.

Both of these symptoms were ‘probably’ caused by Elaine’s long-term use of Clozapine which had been prescribed as a result of a treatment-resistant mental illness and had proved beneficial in alleviating distressing symptoms for many years.

The jury pointed to ‘broader failings’ in the overall treatment by medical services of Elaine, but which did not contribute directly to her death.

These included not carrying out an annual electrocardiagram (ECG) tests on Elaine which might have identified the heart problems sooner.

They also highlighted issues in identifying the potential link between physical health and on ongoing Clozapine treatment.

Coroner Christopher Morris said that Elaine died ‘as a consequence of a recognised complication of necessary medical treatment with Clozapine’.

See full article here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 13th May 2021

Published by CHARM Greater Manchester

CHARM, the Community for Holistic, Accessible, Rights Based Mental Health was launched by The Organic Recovery Learning Community in September 2020.

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