Wales

Caerphilly woman's infection death after tongue pierce

Amanda Taylor, who died following a tongue piercing
Image caption Amanda Taylor fell ill the day after having her tongue pierced

A care worker died from blood poisoning after having her tongue pierced an inquest has heard.

Amanda Taylor, 34, of Caerphilly, developed septicaemia two days after the piecing at a Cardiff shop.

But tests did not find any link between the shop and the infection which killed her.

A verdict of death by natural causes was recorded and the coroner said it was important people being pierced and staff checked they were fit and well.

Ms Taylor was diagnosed with tonsillitis after complaining of a sore throat and swollen tongue.

The inquest heard she died of blood poisoning after bacteria from the throat infection entered her blood stream through the piercing.

"A point of entry for the infection was the piercing," stated deputy Gwent coroner, Wendy James.

"Once the organism gets into the blood stream it can cause systemic streptococcus.

"Streptococcus is an extremely potent bacteria which, if it finds itself into the bloodstream, can very quickly lead to fatal consequences.

Her sister Ceri Taylor-Wood told the inquest: "Amanda was fit and healthy. She worked 70 hours a week and was constantly on the go.

"She had wanted her tongue pierced for some time but mum and dad wouldn't allow her. But eventually they gave in because it was a birthday treat for her 34th."

The hearing was told that Ms Taylor developed a swollen tongue and sore throat the day following the piercing had taken place at Silverhand Jewellery centre in Castle Arcade, Cardiff, in April.

She was prescribed antibiotics by her GP, but she later collapsed at home and died.

Police investigating her death asked Cardiff Council officials to take samples from the piercing parlour.

'Stringent hygiene procedures'

Det Sgt Martin Vaughan told the inquest: "Six pieces of equipment were submitted to the National Public Health Service. One sample detected bacteria associated with poor hygiene."

Tests did not link bacteria at the piercing parlour with the infection which killed Amanda.

Det Sgt Vaughan said: "There was insufficient evidence to take the matter further."

The deputy coroner said: "It's apparent that either shortly before Amanda had the piercing or shortly after she had contracted this tonsillitis."

However, recording a verdict of death by natural causes, she added: "There's no evidence before me to suggest that Amanda contracted the streptococcus infection whilst at the jewellery centre.

"Amanda's death highlights the importance of the person having the piercing and the staff at the piercing centre checking they are fit and well."

Speaking after the inquest, a spokeswoman for Silverhand Jewellery said: "We follow the most stringent hygiene procedures and these procedures were followed when Amanda Taylor visited the shop.

"All the staff of Silverhand Jewellery express their deepest sympathy to the friends and family of Amanda at this tragic time."