The inquest into the death of a young woman, who died following the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, found that there had been “missed opportunities” to diagnose a fatal blood clot.
Kasey Turner was just 18 years old when she died, four days after being admitted to Barnsley Hospital with a “thunderclap headache” that was the result of a thrombosis in her sinus cavity. At the time of her admission to hospital, doctors suspected that Kasey might have had a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Kasey was admitted to Barnsley Hospital’s A&E department on the morning of September 23, 2021 with the “worst headache” that she had ever experienced. Investigations found that Kasey was also suffering from a low blood platelet count and so, when doctors had ruled out the brain hemorrhage, a working diagnosis of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) was formed.
Read more: Screaming Barnsley teen died of ‘thunderclap headache’ agony after AstraZeneca Covid jab
ITP is a blood disorder that is characterized by a decrease in the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are cells in the blood that help it to clot and are therefore essential in the body’s management of bleeding control.
But Kasey, a student paramedic, was actually suffering from a cerebral venous thrombosis – a blood clot in the sinus cavity – which had been brought on as a result of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. Her inquest di lei, which concluded today at Sheffield ‘s Medico Legal Center, found that doctors at Barnsley Hospital had “missed opportunities” to diagnose the clot, which would kill Kasey just days later.
The court heard that Kasey, from Barnsley, had received her dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine two weeks before her admission to hospital, on February 13, 2021. Due to her role as a student paramedic, Kasey had received her Covid-19 vaccine as part of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s immunization program.
At the time of her vaccine, Kasey, a student at Teesside University, was on a placement with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and, as a frontline worker, was offered her vaccine before it was rolled out to other 18 year olds. Her inquest di lei heard that she had suffered all of the “common” side effects of the vaccine and that these lasted for approximately 12 to 18 hours.
But two weeks later, Kasey was “screaming in pain” with the “worst headache” she had ever experienced. When she was admitted to hospital, a CT scan was reported as “normal” and Kasey remained in hospital being treated for ITP.
On February 26, 2021, three days after her admission, Kasey was administered with a dose of platelets and her inquest heard that she began to rapidly deteriorate from that point. Kasey began to suffer from fits and her inquest di lei heard that she was “not responding to seizure control”.
Kasey was intubated and put on a ventilator and then doctors performed another CT scan which showed that she was suffering from a cerebral venous thrombosis. At this point, it was decided that brain surgery would not be in Kasey’s best interest di lei as it could have left her with “significant brain damage”.
But the following day, on February 27, 2021, Kasey’s condition had not improved. Sedative drugs were withdrawn so that doctors could assess Kasey’s neurological state, but the 18-year-old was not making any respiratory effort and was not coughing when stimulated.
Tragically, Kasey was found to be “brain stem dead” so mechanical ventilation was withdrawn and she sadly died later that day at Barnsley Hospital. An initial cause of death was recorded as cerebral venous thrombosis, leading to brain stem infarction, and ITP; which assistant coroner, Tanyka Rawden, accepted was correct at the time of her death di lei.
But the court had previously heard from Professor Michael Makris, a professor of haemostasis and thrombosis at the University of Sheffield, who told the inquest that a fatal condition associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine was later discovered, in March 2021, after Kasey’s death. He told the inquest that this condition, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), was a “key” element in her death di lei.
When the condition was identified, Professor Makris analyzed a sample of Kasey’s blood – which had been kept on record – and found that she had all five “factors” that are required to make a positive diagnosis of VITT. These factors include a low platelet count and a venous thrombosis.
Recording a narrative verdict, Mrs Rawden agreed that the AstraZeneca vaccine led to Kasey’s death and recorded her death as being the result of a cerebral venus thrombosis, brought on by VITT as a result of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination.
The court heard that, had Kasey not had been a student paramedic, she would likely not have had the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is because she would have been vaccinated later – when the general roll-out for 18 year olds was in place – by which time the AstraZeneca risks to those under the age of 30 would have been known.
In a statement read to the court, Kasey’s mum, Donna, said: “I wish that the AstraZeneca vaccine was not offered to Kasey and that she’d waited until it was rolled out to 18-year-olds nationwide.”
‘In my head I know that she’s never coming back’
Paying tribute to her “cheeky, loud and bubbly” daughter, Donna said: “Since learning to talk she would never shut up, constantly talking about any random rubbish just so that she could talk. She was the biggest drama queen you could ever meet , she had no filter and she told it how it was and told people what she thought, regardless of what the outcome would be.
“Kasey was the life and soul of the party, she’d light up every room that she walked into and was the most caring person. She was loved by so many, she made an impact on everybody she ever met and no one will ever forget her. She made her family so proud every day.
“She was definitely one of a kind and I will never meet anyone else quite like her. Losing Kasey so suddenly when she was healthy and just starting out on the pathway to her chosen career has absolutely broken me and our family. I never thought I would have to say goodbye to my 18 year old daughter in such sudden circumstances. “
Donna told the court that Kasey was “born to be a paramedic” as she was so caring and compassionate, but was firm when she needed to be. She said that Kasey would have excelled in her chosen career di lei, adding: “lei She only had a few months of it, but in those few months she flourished. She was just such an amazing girl.
“She wanted to be a paramedic and she would have done that and made a huge success of it, it just breaks my heart that was taken away from her.”
Donna said that she and her family will “never come to terms” with not knowing whether or not her condition could have been noticed sooner. She told the court that she “still expects to receive her daily Facetime calls from university”.
She added: “I find myself constantly thinking that I’ll call her and tell her something and then I realize that I can’t do that and I’ll never speak to her again. In my heart I still think she’s just away at university, but in my head I know that she’s never coming back. “
Concluding the inquest, Mrs Rawden said that there had been a “missed opportunity” to identify the cerebral venous thrombosis and that, had this been identified, it is likely that the medical management of Kasey would have changed.
But, she added: “At the tme of Kasey’s death the conditon of VITT and thrombosis was not known, and therefore it cannot be said that any change in medical management or earlier identification of the thrombosis would have prevented her death.”
Mrs Rawden also apologized to Kasey’s family for the delay in hearing Kasey’s inquest, which she said should have been heard last year. She said: “I know how much distress that’s caused you and I know that means you’ve been unable to grieve. We have let you down as a service and I’m sorry about that.”
Passing her condolences to the family, Mrs Rawden added: “There are no words that are adequate to explain the loss of this incredible young lady, that I’m sure would have served her community for many, many years as a paramedic. I ‘ m sorry that she didn’t get to complete that training and I’m sorry that your lives have been so devastated by this terribly tragedy. I don’t think there’s anything that anybody can say. “
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