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Yasmin Death and “Lucky to Be Alive”

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Hong Kong While the FDA has been criticized for its lack of warning and other issues regarding Yasmin and Yaz, the agency is commendable compared to the Hong Kong Health Department. A Hong Kong man recently filed a lawsuit against Bayer claiming the oral contraceptive caused the death of his wife.

You don’t even need a prescription for birth control pills in Hong Kong, where Yasmin became available in 2001. A decade later, the Hong Kong Health Department asked Bayer to add warning labels regarding the risk of blood clots. In all that time, it said they have not received any reports about any Yasmin side effects.

Chan Ho, who is suing Bayer for negligence in the manufacture and distribution of Yasmin, said his 45-year-old wife, Poon Lai-ming, who had been taking the contraceptive for 10 years, suffered breathing problems on January 27, 2013 and died of a pulmonary embolism hours later, reported Apple Daily. Her gynecologist, Dr. Kun Ka-yan, also concurred with the Hong Kong Health Department, saying he knows of no incident in Hong Kong in which anyone died from taking contraceptives, but he did say that birth control pills containing drospirenone are popular among women because they produce fewer side effects such as weight gain and edema. There are 7.23 million people living in Hong Kong.

Poon Lai-ming had blood clots in her lungs, which forensic experts blamed on the oral contraceptive.

Sandra from Idaho was also diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. She was lucky: her husband rushed her to the ER and doctors were quick to find a blood clot in her lung. Their first question to Sandra was, “Are you taking Yasmin or Yaz?”

That was two years ago. Since that time, Sandra says her whole lifestyle has changed.

“I cannot do a lot of outdoor activities with my daughter like I used to do, and I can’t exercise or walk for a long distance without my chest tightening up or hurting and having shortness of breath,” she says. Sandra is still under the care of a heart specialist. She takes a slew of medications, including heart, blood pressure, two fluid, and potassium pills daily, and she has blood work every few months. “Needless to say, my overall health has also suffered, including weight gain and depression. I will never get over this, but I guess I’m lucky to be alive.”


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