Birth-control Pills, Banana Blamed in Two Unusual Deaths

20-year-old woman dies of contraceptive-induced blood clotting, toddler chokes on banana in day care.

A 20-year-old woman from the north died Wednesday night, a week after suffering a stroke apparently induced by birth-control pills. Also on Wednesday, a toddler died after choking on a banana earlier this week at Kibbutz Geva Carmel. The woman had a condition known as hypercoagulation or thrombophilia, a tendency toward excessive blood clotting that can be exacerbated by hormonal treatments like contraceptives.

The woman had been in intensive care at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center after losing consciousness at home a week ago.

The toddler, from Moshav Habonim on the northern coast, choked on the fruit while at day care. An employee performed resuscitation and he was admitted to Rambam in very serious condition. He was on a ventilator, in an induced coma, until he died Wednesday night.

Hospital officials said the child had suffered serious brain damage as a result of oxygen deprivation during the incident. The boy's parents agreed to donate his organs.

Zichron Yaakov police chief Ofer Kanterovich said foul play was not suspected but police are awaiting medical reports to decide how to proceed with the investigation.

Residents said the ambulance was slow to arrive at the scene because it was operated by the Magen David Adom national rescue service rather than by the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council. The council received the ambulance a month ago from a community in New Hampshire but passed it on to MDA. MDA said the regional council was unable to properly staff the ambulance with local volunteers.

The toddler was the third young child in recent weeks to suffer serious injury or death after choking on food.