News

Stressed young Derbyshire NHS children’s nurse dies aged 30

today30 August 2022 2

Background
share close

A young nurse who cared for children with cancer was found dead at her home by her mum, an inquest heard. Stacey Fusco worked on the oncology ward at Birmingham’s Children Hospital and the case of a child dying from the disease had left her struggling with anxiety and depression which led to her seeing her doctor and being prescribed medication.

The hearing was told the 30-year old was taking the prescribed maximum amount of antidepressant sertraline when she was found by her mother at her home, in Nelson Street, Swadlincote on April 20, 2021. Her death was caused by a rare electrical imbalance in her heart, contributed to by the use of her antidepressant medication, reports StaffordshireLive.

Her family had raised concerns about the dose of sertraline she was prescribed, which was the maximum allowed, but assistant coroner Sophie Lomas, said at the inquest that the dose was an “appropriate amount”. Derby Coroners’ Court heard Stacey was pronounced dead at her home by paramedics following a 999 call from her mother.

Read more: Cases of 17 patients treated by ex-Derby doctor referred to police

She had gone to the house after receiving a call from Birmingham Children’s Hospital saying Stacey had not turned up for work. In a statement read out at the inquest her mum Susan Eley described her daughter as “always very caring, very happy and always wanted to looked after her brother; she worked hard”.

She said Stacey had been having issues at the hospital; they were short staffed and she was working overtime. When her anxiety started Stacey was prescribed medication, with her mum saying: “She didn’t let this get the better of her. She gave her patients her full attention.”

Stacey had been signed off from work. Her mother said she was nervous about returning but felt it was the right time to go back. On the day of her death, her mother found Stacey’s backpack ready for work, saying: “She had mental health issues but I do not believe she would ever harm herself.”

She said her daughter was on sertraline and, at one point, appeared to be in a daze and once forgot her PIN number. Her mother added: “She was very social, loved life and always made sure the family got together. She was heart and soul of the party.”

A statement was also read out from her friend of 10 years, Jessica Arthur, who said in September 2020 Stacey said she was struggling and had called work to ask for a week off. In February, her difficulties continued and there was stress at work. Her friend said Stacey was unusually quiet and had lost her appetite.

She last saw her on April 17 when they went dog walking. She said she was laughing more than she had in a while. They talked about suicide and Stacey told her friend she failed to see how anyone could do that to their family.

Her friend added: “I do not believe that it was suicide. She had come a long way.”

A statement was also read out from her doctor who described the appointments she attended. The first phone appointment was in September when she spoke of a recent case of a child dying which had upset her. She told her doctor she was depressed and tired. The doctor diagnosed her with mixed anxiety depressive disorder and prescribed her 60mg of sertraline, the inquest was told.

Over the course of the next few months Stacey told her doctor she was feeling better but still struggling to sleep. By March 2021, her dose had been increased to the maximum amount.

Her last consultation was on April 7 when her doctor said it appeared she was feeling mentally better, adding it was a very positive consultation. The doctor added she had not been overusing the medication judging by the dates of repeat prescriptions.

Following a post-mortem examination, a toxicology report found she had a higher than therapeutic use of sertraline in her body. However, the pathologist said that sertraline can undergo “significant post-mortem redistribution”. This refers to the changes that occur in drug concentrations after death.

Sophie Lomas, assistant coroner, told the inquest: “Stacey was exposed to anxiety which sadly is not uncommon but wasn’t someone with suicidal thoughts and she did the right thing and got help. There is no evidence that this was suicide. There is nothing to say that it was an overdose. She had been taking the medication as prescribed and that medication appeared to be an appropriate dose.”

Ms Lomas said Stacey’s cause of death was sudden arrhythmic death and sertraline use for mixed anxiety depressive disorder. The assistant coroner said she had thought about ruling that the nurse’s death was due natural causes but decided to issue a narrative verdict instead, saying: “The death would be due to natural cases caused by an electrical imbalance in the heart but sertraline has contributed to her death because it appears to have caused the electrical disturbance.

“I give a narrative conclusion. She died at home on April 20, 2021. The post-mortem examination found a sudden arrhythmic death and that sertraline looks to have caused an electrical disturbance within her heart. It is an absolute tragedy. It is one of these tragic rare cases with some sort of underlying cardiac imbalance.”

Helplines

CALM (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline for men who are down and who need to talk or find information and support. They’re open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.

Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information depressionalliance.org

The Sanctuary (0300 003 7029 ) helps people who are struggling to cope – experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or in crisis. You can call them between 8pm and 6am every night. There are other depression charities.

Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org, write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.

Read next:

Written by: Admin

Rate it

Previous post

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


LISTEN WITH YOUR APP

Midlands Radio

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. 

0%