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Byline: LIZ HULL

FAMILY planning experts moved to reassure women about the safety of a contraceptive pill after it caused a fatal blood clot in a 15-year-old girl.

Claire Stanley died after the massive clot, which had developed as deep vein thrombosis in her legs, travelled to her lungs, an inquest heard.

She had been prescribed the second generation oral contraceptive Cilest, popular with young girls because it improves complexion, to combat erratic and painful periods.

But today doctors warned that the risk of being killed by such an embolism is one in two million pill users.

Sue Ryrie, manager of Brook Advisory Clinic, in London Road, urged girls not to stop taking the contraceptive.

"There are risks with any medication, but the chances of developing a clot on the contraceptive pill are miniscule and it is one of the safest medicines around.

"Obviously anyone concerned about any symptoms should contact their GP, but I would urge young women not to stop taking it ? the results of that could be much more worrying." Claire, from Northwich, developed breathlessness, dizzy spells, vomiting and black-outs just days before her death last year.

She was examined by four separate GPs but none linked her symptoms with the contraceptive.

Northwich GP, Dr Alan Adams, told the inquest that Claire was a healthy girl, with no previous problems.

He said he had mentioned the risk of blood clotting when prescribing Cilest. But added: "I said this was exceptionally rare." The inquest heard that deep vein thrombosis affected 15 of every 100,000 women on Cilest, but for this to progress to a significant clot on the lungs was extremely unusual.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, Cheshire coroner, Nicholas Rheinberg, said: "Claire was a healthy teenager.

"The post-mortem discovered a massive pulmonary embolism, traced back to the deep vein thrombosis. We have a rare condition which led to her death."
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 12, 2002
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