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Ortho Evra Patch Victim thankful to be Alive

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Newport News, VALacrecia had 12 days leave from the army and she was scheduled to visit her husband in Germany. But they had an argument and she visited her mum in Virginia instead. That argument likely saved her life. "My doctor said I wouldn't be alive today if I got on that plane," says Lacrecia, "and I can only blame it on the Ortho Evra Patch". Lacrecia was about to board a plane with blood clots in both lungs, caused by Ortho Evra birth control.

"It started with a pain in the back of my right leg," says Lacrecia. "The pain went on for about 2 weeks and I complained about it to my mum—she is a combat medic." Lacrecia's mother suspected it might be a blood clot and took Lacrecia to ER. "I barely made it to the hospital; as we walked through the parking lot I got really short of breath and I almost collapsed," says Lacrecia. 'My mum told me to 'Just calm down and take your time', and I was admitted immediately.

"The doctors asked me right away if I was on birth control. When I told them I was using the Patch they made me take it off right then and there. They also asked about my family history and none of my family suffered from blood clots or any heart problems. I don't smoke and blood clots are not hereditary so I don't see where else it came from. I am only 22 years old and up until now, I was in good health.

Right away I had an ultrasound and a CAT Scan; the latter test found blood clots in my lungs but not in the back of my leg. Apparently the blood clots came from my leg and that explained the pain. When they told me they were in my lungs I was really scared and my mum started crying. One clot is dangerous enough, but there were multiple clots in both lungs. I was put into ICU for 24 hours and then they moved me to a regular room; I got injections of blood thinners in my stomach and then they started me on coumadin. Four days later I was released and told to rest at home.

One of the nurses at the hospital spoke with me about the Ortho Evra Patch and how dangerous it is, how some women have even died from taking the Patch. She gave me an informational pamphlet, including advice on how to contact a lawyer. Nobody told me about the side effects when I was first prescribed the Patch; my gyn/ob suggested that I try the Patch because I had bad cramps during my period.

The doctor told me the blood clots will dissolve on their own but the doctors haven't even re-evaluated me yet; I get out of breath easily so I am assuming that I do not have a clean bill of health yet. I am scheduled for an MRI on October 8th and that will show whether the blood clots are still in my lungs.

Now I am in the process of being medically discharged from the army--I work in supply. The doctor gave me a profile note saying that I cannot perform any duties so I just show up for work and sit there all day long—from 6.30 am until 5.30 pm. I am useless to the army and the discharge process takes about 90 days. I just re-enlisted for four more years and now I have to be discharged because the army is so physically demanding. I will probably get into administrative work; I'm only 22 so I have lots of time to figure out a career but this has been a real setback—I am non-deployable; I will never be able to go overseas now.

It is shocking that doctors, particularly specialists, are prescribing the Patch; it is shocking that this form of birth control is still on the market. I am thankful that I am still alive, knowing that some women died. This drug sucks; it has ruined so many people's lives."



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