A 17-year-old teenager was rushed to the hospital after complaining of a stomach ache. It was later found out that she had severe liver damage.
Georgia Littlewood, a part-time office clerk, accidentally killed herself after she overdosed of paracetamol tablets to treat her stomach ache. It is believed that she has taken more than the recommended dose of the drug after she called in sick and decided to stay with her boyfriend.
The girl was rushed to the hospital when her condition deteriorated but she died the next day. The cause of death was acute liver failure, which was attributed to paracetamol toxicity.
Tests revealed that the teenager had 65 micrograms of paracetamol in her blood, which is far too high compared with the recommended dose of only 20 micrograms.
A coroner said at an inquest into the girl's death that she was likely unaware of the potential toxic effects of paracetamol when taken in large doses. The teenager's mother, Joanne Littlewood, concurred saying that her daughter likely did not know the correct dosage of the medication and that she would have been taking paracetamol to treat her headaches.
Mrs. Littlewood related that her daughter seemed to be hallucinating when she was taken to the hospital.
"On the day she was taken into hospital she was mumbling and didn't know who I was. I knew something was wrong straight away," Mrs. Littlewood said. "I believe the overdose was a complete accident. She was a very happy girl making plans to go on holiday in July."
Miss Littlewood, from West Yorkshire called in sick on March 28 because of pains in her stomach then later sent an SMS to her mother telling her that she would be staying at her boyfriend's house, where they watched television and had milkshakes and pizza.
Although she insisted feeling better, Miss Littlewood was heard being sick in the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning. She was later rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where she told doctors that she had taken paracetamol albeit she claimed she had no intentions of harming herself.
Miss Littlewoods was then moved to St. James Hospital for a liver transplant but her condition deteriorated fast and doctors were not able to reverse the damages on her liver. She died at 9 p.m. on March 30. Her family now calls for tougher restrictions on the drug.
Photo: Ambrose Heron | Flickr