Eighteen-year-old Hailey Duncan of Memphis, Tennessee, nearly died in July because of her hormonal birth control pills.
Duncan was hospitalized when a pulmonary embolism, which doctors say was likely a result of hormonal birth control, blocked off most of the blood flow to her lungs. Duncan’s surgeon, Dr. Brad Wolf of Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, told WREG 3 News that Duncan “had some bleeding earlier in the day from various CPR and some chest tubes that she had, and we couldn’t do the clot busting medicine, and also we couldn’t do surgery on her because she was too ill.” So in order to save Duncan’s life, doctors had to hook her up to an Ecmo machine that takes over for the heart and lungs.
“We put one tube in the femoral artery and one tube in the femoral vein, and then the unoxygenated blood comes out of the vein and it goes through this machine, and it oxygenates it and pumps it back into the body,” Dr. Wolf told WREG. Duncan was off the machine within a couple of days, the news station reports.
Earlier this year, Live Action News reported on another college student, Orlaith Clinton from Ireland, who suffered a pulmonary embolism due to her hormonal birth control. A blood clot that started in her leg broke apart and traveled to her lungs.
“I was advised of the possible side effects but as stated on the NHS website ‘the risk of getting a blood clot is very small.’,” Clinton told Belfast Live. “I can admit that I read side effects and thought that it would never happen to me. This naivety caused a nightmare for me and I will never take side effect warnings lightly again.” Clinton says she is likely to be on blood thinners for the rest of her life.
In March of this year, during Blood Clot Awareness Month, the makers of the documentary, “Sweetening the Pill” posted stories of multiple women who died from blood clots as a result of their hormonal birth control. Live Action News noted, “Disturbing reports of the side effects of hormonal contraception — up to and even including death — have been circulating for quite some time. Blood clots are just one of many risks for women who use hormonal birth control.” Alexandria Williams, Julia West-Ross, Erika Langhart, Brittany Malone, and Alex Rowan all died from blood clots from using hormonal birth control.
Hailey Duncan is very fortunate to still be alive. Hopefully, her story, along with the stories of these other young women, can serve as a warning to other women before they choose to take hormonal birth control. Other options like natural family planning can be as effective as hormonal birth control without the harmful side effects.
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