Saturday 18 November 2017

Pregnant woman died from blood clot brought on by IVF

A woman who spent two years trying for a baby died from a blood clot brought on by her fertility treatment just weeks after she finally fell pregnant.

Emma Draper, from Dagenham, Essex, and her husband Peter were delighted when IVF treatment at St Bart's Hospital in London proved successful.



She received an embryo transfer on June 11, 2010 and two weeks later discovered she was pregnant.



But Mrs Draper, 26, who had lost 5st so she could have IVF, was taken to hospital four days later with chest pains. She died on July 10 after slipping into a coma and suffering a massive stroke.



She had suffered with with anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), which makes the blood prone to dangerous clotting.



But her family say they were never warned that complications from IVF can be fatal to those with APS.



Mrs Draper took the anti-coagulant drug Warfarin, but changed to a heparin drug for her pregnancy because Warfarin can damage the development of a foetus.



However, this was not as effective at thinning her blood, and days after finding out she was pregnant Mrs Draper was rushed to specialist heart hospital Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.



Her legs turned blue and she suffered a stroke, and doctors turned her life support machine off on July 10, 2010.



An inquest at Poplar Coroner's Court found a combination of antiphospholipid syndrome and IVF meant Emma developed the very rare catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome, and a coroner ruled that Mrs Draper died from natural causes.



Her husband is still coming to terms with his wife's death.



Mr Draper, 33, said: "Blood specialists warned us there was a risk of clotting from changing Emma's medication, but nobody told us that IVF could be life-threatening.



"It's meant to be something that brings life into this world, not takes it away. Emma was sensible - she would never have had IVF if she'd known that there was a chance she might die. We would have adopted."



A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust said: "This is a tragic case and our thoughts are with the Draper family at this difficult time.



"An inquest held in February 2011 found that Emma died from natural causes, which presented as a rare complication of pre-existing disease and fertility treatment."



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