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Canadian woman’s death blamed on Yasmin, family struggling with health authorities

Filed February 7th, 2013 Joshua Sophy

The family of a British Columbia woman say that health officials there are refusing to investigate the death of their loved one, which they believe was caused by the contraceptive Yasmin and several missed diagnoses.

According to a CBC.ca report this week, Rhonda Bergen was taking male hormones in the treatment of poly cystic ovarian syndrome. This caused her to experience excessive hair growth and as a treatment, was prescribed Yasmin.

After just five weeks, Bergen, 36, began experiencing problems that are common among other women who see complications while taking Yasmin or its counterpart drugs Yaz or Ocella. After experiencing some breathing problems, Bergen consulted a walk-in clinic where she was diagnosed with flu. She was given a common antibiotic and given a chest X-ray at the time of that visit.

Within the week, the symptoms persisted and worsened and Bergen was taken to an emergency room but sent home just hours later when her chest X-ray revealed no signs of trouble, apparently. Her next visit to the ER was just a few hours later and she was taken via ambulance as her breathing problems became more serious. A CT scan was ordered and revealed pulmonary embolism in her lungs, one of the hallmark side effects of Yasmin and the other similar contraceptives.

Bergen died the same night but the British Columbia Coroner refused to pursue a cause of death, which could have called attention to the dangers of Yasmin, which her family believes contributed to her untimely death. Instead, the Coroner’s office determined that Bergen died of “natural causes” and did not conduct an investigation further.

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