Coroner finds meth overdose caused brain bleed

Last updated 16:38 17/05/2012

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A Fairfield woman found dead by a family member in her home overdosed on methamphetamine, a coroner's enquiry has found.

Workmates became concerned after Lisa Jane McMillan, 39, a very successful insurance underwriter at AXA, didn't come in to work in January 2010, the coroner's report, released this week, says.

When they couldn't contact her they called her brother. He found her lying on the bedroom floor unresponsive, but along with emergency services could not revive her.

The initial post-mortem found Ms McMillan had died from a sudden bleed in her brain, but with no obvious physical factors found that might have caused it.

However blood analysis found Ms McMillan had consumed methamphetamine in amounts that are associated with fatal overdoses.

''The final post-mortem report ... concluded that it is accepted that methamphetamine is quite capable of raising blood pressure and therefore precipitating a brain haemorrhage and that, give the significant level in the deceased's blood, it was probable that this occurred on this occasion,'' the coroner's report says. 

Police enquiries with medical authorities found no history of Ms McMillan having any involvement with illegal drugs. Family and friends said they were not aware she used drugs, and that she had not appeared to be unhappy.

She had been well respected and successful in her work as an insurance underwriter, and had been planning long-term travel later in the year with her fiance. 

Coroner Ian Smith concluded Ms McMillan died some time between January 20 and 21 as a result of a brain bleed in the context of methamphetamine toxicity.

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- Hutt News


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