23rd Sep, 2020

Solihull mum fears pregnant women could go without vital treatments if ‘no deal’ Brexit causes medicine delays

Sarah Mason 24th Sep, 2019

A SOLIHULL mum and councillor fears pregnant women with severe sickness could go without vital treatment if a ‘no deal’ Brexit causes medicine delays.

Laura McCarthy suffered Hyperemesis Gravidarum in both her pregnancies and was prescribed cyclizine, an anti-sickness medication – which has been listed as at risk of delay if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The mum of two says the drug saved her life as the condition left her severely dehydrated and unable to eat when she was expecting her son four years ago.

She is calling on the Department of Health and Social Care and the Solihull and Meriden MPs Julian Knight and Dame Caroline Spelman to ensure that medication will not be delayed in the event of any type of Brexit.

In recent weeks government documents have warned of a disruption to supplies if and when the country leaves the EU despite the work with suppliers to ensure there is no delay in getting medicines to patients.

Councillor McCarthy said: “I almost died from hyperemesis.

“This is not an exaggeration. I was very, very unwell and it’s only thanks to the instincts of my GP and the staff at Heartlands Hospital Early Pregnancy Unit that I’m still alive.

“I started on cyclizine straight away and this helped for a while until my symptoms worsened.

“I was then in and out of hospital and at one point was so dehydrated that my resting heart rate was 139 beats per minute.

“During my spells in hospital I had cyclizine via IV which allowed me to eat a little and drink enough that I was able to go home for a day or so until I became dehydrated again and was re-admitted.”

She added the condition affected her everyday life and she couldn’t work, do the school run and there were days she struggled to get out of bed.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy which can affect a woman’s everyday life and may not subside until the baby arrives.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is known to have suffered from the condition when carrying all three of her children.

Coun McCarthy said: “I shared my experience because there are so many people with life saving medication on the list of drugs which may be unavailable in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

“So many people are terrified that their essential medications may not be available and they tell me that they feel powerless.

“If we have a shortage of cyclizine then mothers with hyperemesis are going to suffer. Their babies will suffer.

“Before medications such as cyclizine people died of hyperemesis.

“One life lost is one life too many.”

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