AN ‘ADORED’ mum of four died after being submerged in a hot bath that had increased the effect of her prescribed medication to toxic levels, an inquest has heard. 

Tania Kay Tyson, 62 was pulled out of the bath by her husband of nearly 40 years Michael Tyson after he found her unconscious during a 3am bathroom visit in their home on Lonsdale Road, Millom, on April 9, 2023. 

He called 999 and performed CPR on Mrs Tyson until paramedics, who continued to try to resuscitate her, arrived. She was pronounced dead at 4.07am. 

In a statement submitted to Cockermouth Coroners Court, Mr Tyson said his wife used to take hot baths to ease pain and the feeling of being cold.

He said he frequently warned her after finding her regularly falling asleep in the bath. 

Mrs Tyson, a retired care worker for St George’s in Millom, had been prescribed painkillers since 2013 for chronic pain. 

Mr Tyson said she suffered with chronic back pain after being involved in a car accident in the late 80s to early 90s. 

Area coroner for Cumbria Ms Kirsty Gomersal said that official guidance given by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority) MHRA is that exposure of fentanyl patches to direct heat can increase the absorption rate of the drug and advises patients using them to avoid prolonged hot baths. 

Members of Mrs Tyson’s family, present in court, said despite the warning being in the Patient Information Leaflet in every box of patches, she was not made explicitly aware of the risk - despite her GP being aware of the regularity of her hot baths. 

Robert Heaton, a pharmacist at Rowlands Pharmacy where Mrs Tyson or her daughter used to pick up her medication, said she would have been counselled on how to correctly take the medication when first prescribed. 

He also said there was ‘no cause for concern’ as there had never been any requests for excessive medication, which indicated that Mrs Tyson was not using it incorrectly, and he could not recall either of them asking any questions regarding its administration. 

Mr Tyson said his wife ‘had no problems with drug or alcohol abuse’.

A postmortem toxicology report showed no alcohol in Mrs Tyson’s system. A toxic level of fentanyl was detected. 

Ms Gomersal stated the caveat that postmortem redistribution of the drug was possible and that she is likely to have developed some tolerance to it. 

Mrs Tyson was wearing a fentanyl patch in the bath when she fell unconscious on April 9, 2023. 

Ms Gomersal accepted a medical cause of death due to fentanyl toxicity and recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure, that she did not intend to harm herself. 

Responding to family concerns and commenting this was the third fentanyl-related death she had encountered recently, she would raise a ‘yellow card’ with the MHRA. 

She explained while this stopped short of filing an official report for the prevention of future deaths, which is within a coroner's power, it raises the issue as one for the regulatory body to consider and be aware of. 

She said: “It triggers to me a concern that I make sure that people are getting the right information.” 

Addressing Mr Tyson’s actions, she said: “You were very brave, and you did your absolute best for her.”