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Ellen Mercer: Woman died from nitrous oxide and immobility, inquest finds | UK News



Ellen Mercer, who died aged 24 after becoming a habitual nitrous oxide user. Pic: Tom Bailey

A 24-year-old lady died from long-term problems stemming from her use of nitrous oxide and immobility, a coroner has dominated.

Ellen Mercer died from a pulmonary embolism after inhaling two to 3 “huge bottles” of the substance every day, an inquest heard.

“This case has highlighted how massively harmful it’s to make use of nitrous oxide,” senior coroner Heidi Connor mentioned.

Defined: What’s nitrous oxide?

Describing the scholar’s demise as “such a tragic waste of a younger lady’s life,” the coroner added her use of the drug had been a “important explanation for her immobility and creating clots.”

The inquest heard a autopsy examination report discovered Ms Mercer’s demise to have been attributable to bilateral pulmonary thromboembolism, deep vein thrombosis, and “long-term problems of nitrous oxide use”.

She was mentioned to have spent the earlier two weeks unable to depart her mattress due to her abuse of the substance.

Ms Mercer died in February final yr after being admitted to hospital with a blister attributable to a laughing fuel canister caught to her leg.

She had develop into a ordinary consumer of nitrous oxide and medics who tried to save lots of her reportedly discovered “options of neurological compromise”.

Subsequent exams confirmed nitrous oxide inhalation had resulted in Ms Mercer creating critical circulation and respiration issues.

Her fiance Tom Bailey instructed Sky Information his bubbly, sort and caring associate would get by means of three to 4 canisters in a single sitting.

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Mr Bailey has described how his associate was getting by means of three to 4 canisters a day

“Her reactions turned slower and her face would present discolouring,” he mentioned. “After which it was all a build-up as a result of burns… then she was unable to stroll, so then she was unable to go to the bathroom.”

Mr Bailey added that his fiancee would “sit there and do all of [the laughing gas] in a single go.”

“It bought to the purpose the place she could not put it down,” he mentioned. “She’d have to complete it after which she’d need extra.

“If she did not have it, she would not be joyful with out it.”

Ellen Mercer, who died aged 24 after becoming a habitual nitrous oxide user. Pic: Tom Bailey
Ellen Mercer died aged 24

An ‘extraordinarily critical social downside’

Nitrous oxide itself will not be addictive, dependancy specialist Chip Somers instructed Sky Information.

He defined: “Psychologically and emotionally, it may actually have an addictive trait to it. However you are not going to endure withdrawal signs of a bodily nature for those who had been to immediately cease taking it.”

Mr Somers is looking for higher assist for ordinary customers of the drug. He mentioned: “We ought to be taking the usage of nitrous oxide extraordinarily significantly as a social downside.”

Ellen Mercer, who died aged 24 after becoming a habitual nitrous oxide user, with fiancé  Tom Bailey
Mr Bailey has spoken out to boost consciousness of how harmful nitrous oxide could be

Mr Somers works with individuals who have stopped utilizing nitrous oxide and mentioned these shoppers are “not problematic by way of the bodily withdrawal”.

“However they’re problematic as they’re then left with all of the unhappiness and dysfunction that most likely made them begin utilizing one thing fairly mind-altering within the first place,” Mr Somers added.

The federal government final yr banned the leisure use of nitrous oxide and sellers can now withstand 14 years in jail. On the time of the scholar’s demise possession of laughing fuel with the intent of getting excessive was not unlawful.

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Mr Bailey mentioned he’s in favour of criminalising customers and has spoken out after his fiancee’s demise to warn others of the drug’s extreme penalties.

However Mr Somers says he doesn’t suppose criminalising “is the best way to go”.

“These individuals are not criminals,” he mentioned. “They’re individuals who need assistance and criminalising them and punitive fines and possibly even imprisonment will not be going to truly remedy the issue.”

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