“The drugs don’t work” – Woman dies but cause of death is a ‘mystery’ (not to me it isn’t)

“The drugs don’t work” – Woman dies but cause of death is a ‘mystery’ (not to me it isn’t)

I came across the following story today on the Birmingham Mail website, and it’s quite tragic as it’s never nice to read about someone who has lost their life unneccessarily , however there are some issues contained in the story that I’d like to pick up on.

Mystery surrounds death of Kidderminster mum who died while on phone to GP

Kidderminster mum Helena Maffei was waiting in GP phone queue for appointment before she died

Mystery surrounds the sudden death of “fit and healthy” Kidderminster mum-of-two Helena Maffei. The 55-year-old had been waiting to speak to her GP for three hours, an inquest was told.

When her GP rang back, Mrs Maffei was having a seizure in front of her 28-year-old son Giuseppe, who called 999 for help. Paramedics arrived but were unable to save her and she was declared dead at her Stourbridge Road home, Worcestershire Coroners’ Court heard.

At 2am on the day of her death, Mrs Maffei collapsed but wouldn’t let her family ring for an ambulance saying she would call a GP in the morning. She tried calling Kidderminster’s Church Street Surgery at 8.30am on September 23 and was waiting in a queue for over 30 minutes when her phone battery died, the family told the court.

She called back and was in a queue for a further 59 minutes before being told a doctor would ring her back within 90 minutes. Just over an hour and a half later, her GP, Dr Khatim Niwa, called – but by then, Mrs Maffei’s condition was already severe.

Birmingham Mail, 20th August 2022

Now this of course all happened last year while the country was still mostly in the grip of this ‘pandemic’, which meant that ‘in-person’ appointments with GPs were still practically impossible to get, with most consultations being done over the phone.

This lady was described as being ‘fit and healthy’ (though without wanting to come across as being too judgemental, from the photos on the Birmingham Mail, she looks a little ‘overweight’, but even so…)

Worcester -born Mrs Maffei, who ran The Continental Bakery with her husband Tony, was prescribed antidepressant drug Sertraline for panic attacks by Dr Niwa two weeks before the tragedy. The inquest heard how she quickly deteriorated after starting the medication on September 9 and stopped taking them days before her death.

Sertraline belongs to a family of medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors(SSRIs), which increase levels of Serotonin in the brain, responsible for a person’s happiness.

Husband Tony Maffei said: “Helena was never ill, not even a cold. She was fit and healthy, walking every day and working 8am to 8pm in the bakery. She didn’t smoke or drink, wasn’t overweight and her diet was very good.

“After two weeks of taking these tablets she became very weak and fragile and had no strength. The side effects of the tablets were all symptoms Helena had during the last days of her life.”

Mrs Maffei suffered gradually increased weakness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, confusion, sweating, shivering, vomiting and diarrhoea over a period of two weeks, the court heard.

It would be interesting to learn the reason for her anxiety and panic attacks, which ended up with her being prescribed this medication.

But it doesn’t seem that much of a ‘mystery’ to me, if a perfectly healthy woman starts taking some new medication and then ends up dying just two weeks later.

The article has a load more hand-wringing and wriggling out of blame. The last bit I’ll quote is this:

A post mortem including specialist tests on the brain and heart could not ascertain the cause of death. No evidence was found of a heart attack or epilepsy and pathologist Dr Sarah Littleford ruled there were a couple of possibilities.

Dr Littleford said: “In my opinion, this is a difficult case. Sertraline can be associated with seizures in individuals developing Serotonin Syndrome.” She said the rare syndrome is a recognised adverse drug reaction that typically develops within the first few hours and days of using a drug that affects Serotonin.”

Symptoms range from mild to life-threatening and include many displayed by Mrs Maffei, such as a fast and irregular heartbeat and seizures.

Sertraline is also known to speed up or change the rhythm of the heart and increase the risk of sudden death if a person is predisposed to cardiac problems or has Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, or SADS.

Dr Littleford said: “I cannot exclude the possibility that Sertraline caused Serotonin Syndrome and death in this case. Neither can I exclude that Mrs Maffei had SADS, which the Sertraline may or may not have exacerbated.”

NHS GP Khatim Niwa told the court there was “nothing she would have done differently”, adding that she’d had a good relationship with Mrs Maffei since 2010. The GP said she’d followed NICE guidelines in prescribing 50mg of Sertraline as the mum had been feeling overwhelmed and unhappy with anxiety.

Basically, they found ‘no evidence’ and won’t admit that this drug ended up killing her, trying to nudge towards this all new “sudden adult death syndrome”.

And as for the GP, she may well have ‘followed guidelines’ but did she make any attempt to get to the root cause of the issue before prescribing this drug?

In my opinion, most GPs now are nothing more than glorified ‘drug-pushers’, and all they do is follow flow charts for ‘symptoms’ with the end ‘solution’ always being some ‘drug’ that can be prescribed.

“Anxiety” is a psychological condition; in order to correctly treat anxiety, one has to determine the root cause of that anxiety. Once you establish what the cause of any anxiety is, then one can take action to prevent it or deal with it.

Treating anxiety by prescribing drugs that take care of the ‘symptoms’ by altering chemical imbalances, does not ‘fix’ the core issue. By altering chemical imbalances through introducing new chemicals into the body, that’s what causes ‘side-effects’ and other symptoms of illness.

So here we have a “fit and healthy” woman, who for some reason was prescribed some new medication in order to ‘treat’ her anxiety she was experiencing, and then suffered ‘side-effects’ from this medication, and died within two weeks. But it’s a “mystery” as to what caused her death?

The NHS would never admit when it was wrong, and of course the pathologist carrying out the post-mortem would never admit that the NHS or the entire medical profession was wrong either. How do they get away with this? This is how the Common Purpose network of graduates work, all in tandem, covering each others tracks, and that includes the media, who won’t ask such questions that I have asked while they ‘report’ on these cases and inquests.

It’s a tragedy that this woman lost her life, but equally it’s as much a tragedy that so many people are that beholden to the ‘experts’ in the NHS, that they put their trust in these ‘magic drugs’ and then wonder why they never get better, or end up having to take even more pills or injections in order to counter the ‘side-effects’ of these drugs.

Oh and its funny how this “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome” only emerged in the last couple of years, a great way to label those who ‘mysteriously’ die under unexplained circumstances…