Mother died after 'build-up of strong painkillers'

A MOTHER died from the effects of an accumulation of medication just months after giving birth, an inquest heard.

Rebecca Jackson, 27, a paediatric care assistant from Village Drive, Ribbleton, Preston, was admitted to Royal Preston Hospital by ambulance on December 13 after collapsing at home.

Her partner of four years, David Mault, told Preston Coroner’s Court she had fainted twice in the days before her death, once falling down the stairs, and had been worried about her dizzy spells. She had been treated for Hughes syndrome, where clots form in the veins and arteries.

She was also on a number of painkillers for chronic ankle pain.

In mid-November her GP became concerned about the amount of painkillers she was taking and reviewed her intake again on December 1.

Despite extensive resuscitation attempts by her partner and at the hospital, she passed away on December 13.

Consultant pathologist Jane Edwards, who carried out the postmortem examination, found fluid on both lungs and some liver disease.

Dr Edwards said the Hughes syndrome had been managed well and did not appear to contribute in any way, nor did the birth of her child in July. But she said drug screening had revealed toxic levels. She added: “In my opinion her death was due to an overdose of amitriptyline with dihydrocodeine.”

There was also paracetamol present. Coroner Nicola Mundy said she was satisfied Miss Jackson did not intend to take her own life.

Recording a narrative verdict, she said: “On December 13 2006 Rebecca Jackson died from the effects of an accumulation of amitriptyline, dihydrocodeine, and paracetamol.

“Circumstances were it is likely there has been a build up of these drugs over a period of days.”