An Eastern Kentucky woman says her birth control nearly killed her. One
year ago Tonya Dingess, a paramedic, was leaving the hospital after she
says she nearly died. She says the pain in her stomach, legs and chest
was unbearable and that for weeks doctors did not know what was wrong.
Turns out, she had blood clots all over her body.
“We found out that the clots were caused by the patch I was wearing,” Dingess said. Dingess says that a month before she got sick, she switched from birth control pills to a patch, but no one told her about the “potential deadly side effects,” she said.
“I wasn’t made aware of it. Nobody ever told me that people were dying from this at a staggering rate,” she said.
She has sued the patch maker, Ortho Evra and the parent company, Johnson & Johnson.
“We believe the company knew it was six times more likely that useing the patch would cause stroke, heart attack, or blood clots and they kept this from the public,” Dingess’s attorney, John Kirk said.
An Ortho Evra spokesperson says they don’t comment on ongoing litigation. The company’s website says they don’t know if birth control’s serious side effects are different with the patch.
Dingess acknowledges that she wants compensated for “my ordeal,” and also hopes that perhaps her civil action will let other women know about what she calls “deadly risks.”
“I’m happy to be alive,” she said. “I had a very close call.”