Insomniac nurse sedative overdose 'not intentional'

A MENTAL health nurse who suffered from insomnia died after taking a toxic combination of sedatives, an inquest heard.
Doncaster Coroner's CourtDoncaster Coroner's Court
Doncaster Coroner's Court

Abi Lugboso (26) was found dead in her flat in Keppel Wharf, Rotherham, on November 14 last year.

Nigerian-born Ms Lugboso was last seen by her Chesterfield Hospital colleagues on November 8 and was reported missing by a family member the following day.

A police officer visited her flat on November 14 and, after breaking down her door, found her dead in her bedroom surrounded by bottles and packets of prescription medication.

Toxicologist Dr Paul Smith told the inquest at Doncaster Coroner’s Court on Monday that a potentially fatal level of amitriptyline - a sedative - had been found in her blood.

Ms Lugboso had around ten times the normal therapeutic level of amitriptyline in her blood. However, the level may have been artificially increased by a process called post-mortem redistribution, he said.

Dr Smith added that taking a deliberate overdose generally caused much higher readings than the one recorded in Ms Lugboso’s case.

He said the potentially fatal level of amitriptyline, taken with a combination of other sedatives, caused a reduction in oxygen flow to Ms Lugboso’s brain.

The inquest heard Ms Lugboso had been keeping a daily diary to record combinations of medication she had been taking to help her sleep.

She also recorded her quality of sleep on a scale of one to ten and had noted her ambition to reduce, and ultimately bring to an end, her reliance on sedatives to assist her sleep.

Assistant Coroner for Doncaster, Mr Mark Beresford, said Ms Lugboso had reported difficulties sleeping to her family and GP.

Giving evidence, her mother, Falilat Lugboso, said her daughter “was the type of person that liked to be independent and private”.

She added “She liked to do things by herself.” 

Mrs Lugboso said her daughter “hadn’t really told her” about the medication she took to help her sleep.

Det Sgt John Dimberline, of South Yorkshire Police, told the inquest there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Ms Lugboso’s death.

Mr Beresford said Ms Lugboso did not intend to take her own life and died from the toxic effects of taking a combination of sedative drugs she had taken to help her sleep.