14 year old Girl Dies After Using Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch

Alycia Brown was an eighth-grader in La Crosse, Wisconsin when she died of blood clots in her lower pelvis on May 7, 2004. She had been using the Ortho Evra birth control patch for about eight weeks.
A federal law suit has now been filed in Madison by her parents who claim the patch was the cause of their daughter’s tragic death. The La Crosse County medical examiner has found that Ortho Evra was a likely contributing factor in Alycia’s death.
Although many lawsuits have already been commenced against Ortho-McNeil and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, for injuries and deaths allegedly caused by the patch, the 14 year old is now the youngest known victim.
The girl’s mother had feared that her daughter was having sexual relations. The patch was decided upon because the girl was afraid to have a birth control shot because she was afraid of needles. The mother wanted to avoid the possibility of Alycia ruining her life with an unwanted teenage pregnancy. What happened, however, was far worse.
Only last week did Ortho-McNeil finally acknowledged the fact that women who use its Ortho Evra birth control patch are at a significantly greater risk of blood clots, stroke, and death than woman who use other forms of oral contraceptives.
Ortho-McNeil now admits that women who use the patch can be exposed to up to 60% more estrogen than they would be exposed to if they were taking a birth control pill instead.
Several lawsuits have already been commenced around the U.S. alleging that serious injuries and deaths have been caused by the Patch. Two weeks ago, CBS News presented a story concerning documents produced in the course of a pending lawsuit involving a young mother who was paralyzed by a stroke only 12 days after she began using the patch. She is now a total invalid.
According to that story, Ortho-McNeil’s own records show the company received some 500 reports of serious health problems associated with the patch between April 2002 and December 2004. During that time only 61 such reports were received with respect to all types of existing oral contraceptives.
In addition, there were four times as many strokes in women using the patch as in women using oral contraceptives even though three times as many women were taking those other forms of birth control.
Finally, the evidence indicates, that in medically confirmed cases, the risk of blood clots is 14 times as high with the patch.
An investigative report published by the Associated Press on July 18, 2005 linked the birth control patch, which contains a combination of norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol, to an increased risk of blood clots and deaths (compared to older contraceptives) in some young healthy women.