Cwmcarn woman's lethal cocktail of drugs was ‘tragic accident’

THE death of a Cwmcarn woman caused by a lethal mix of painkillers and alcohol was described as a "tragic accident" by a coroner.

Stephanie Mary Wallace, 47, was found collapsed in the kitchen of their home by her partner David Lloyd on Friday June 7 this year.

A coroner's investigation was told that two months before her death Mrs Wallace, a clerical officer with Aneurin Bevan Health Board, had complained of pains in her arms and chest.

She had sought help at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, but the cause of pain could not be identified. Instead she was prescribed the painkiller Tramadol.

But the pain continued and she was forced to take time off work.

On June 7, Mrs Wallace had spent the day in her garden with her sister, and had had a drink. By the time Mr Lloyd had returned home that evening, her sister had left and the couple had their regular Friday night Chinese takeaway.

At about 10pm, Mrs Wallace complained of feeling tired and thought she may have overdone it after spending the day in the garden, so she went to bed. Mr Lloyd stayed downstairs watching television and fell asleep.

About an hour and a half later, Mr Lloyd awoke and was going to bed when he heard the sound of running water in the kitchen. He went to investigate and found his partner lying on the kitchen floor.

Mr Lloyd called the emergency services and tried to revive her, with paramedics taking over when the ambulance arrived. But Mrs Wallace was pronounced dead.

A post mortem examination revealed that Mrs Wallace had died as a result of the combined toxic effects of the Tramadol and alcohol, which had depressed her central nervous system.

“It was a tragic accident. It just shows the dangers of combining strong prescribed drugs with having a drink,” said Mr Bowen.

Conclusion: Accidental death.

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