Wednesday 29 January 2020

Woman (29) 'died after accidentally taking too much paracetamol'

Rebecca Bissett (29) was taking paracetamol over the Easter weekend in 2018 and was hospitalised on Easter Monday, an inquest heard (stock photo)
Rebecca Bissett (29) was taking paracetamol over the Easter weekend in 2018 and was hospitalised on Easter Monday, an inquest heard (stock photo)

Louise Roseingrave

A woman died after accidentally overdosing on paracetamol she was taking for pain.

Rebecca Bissett (29) was taking paracetamol over the Easter weekend in 2018 and was hospitalised on Easter Monday, an inquest heard.

The young woman was described as a "great daughter" who was much loved by her family.

"Becca was a great daughter; she was loved by all her nieces and nephews. She used to do all the activities with them, zip lining and things, she was a great help and they loved her," mother Geraldine Bissett told Dublin Coroner's Court.

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Ms Bissett lived at home with her mother and two brothers at Fostra, Aughnacliffe, Co Longford. She had a weight problem and had undergone gastric bypass surgery in 2009.

She weighed 32 stone and was due to have cosmetic surgery when she reduced her weight to 15 stone, the inquest heard. She was a type 2 diabetic and was on a controlled diet. She had begun secretly drinking in her bedroom in her teens, her mother said.

Ms Bissett spent a week at a Cuan Mhuire addiction treatment centre in Athenry in 2018.

"She spent a week at Cuan Mhuire and she was quiet and prayerful when she came out, and she had stopped drinking.

"But later, she travelled to London to meet friends, and I think she started drinking again then," her mother said.

Over Easter weekend 2018, Ms Bissett complained of pain and told her family she was taking paracetamol.

On Sunday April 1, three days before her death, she became drowsy, and her family grew concerned.

Her brother Shane Bissett said she was sick and he saw the remains of paracetamol tablets. He asked her how many she had taken and she said three. She handed him a bottle that originally contained 70 tablets.

"I assumed she had taken more," he said.

Her brother drove her to Cavan General Hospital the following day.

She was admitted to the emergency department. She developed liver failure and became critically ill and was transferred to St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on April 3.

She was hopeful a transplant could save her life, but she died the following day.

A post-mortem found half of her liver had dissolved due to the effects of paracetamol.

"The main thing is the liver damage, and that's due to the paracetamol," Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said, returning a result of misadventure.

Irish Independent

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