Letter: Free to overdose

Sir: Paracetemol tablets are sold in small packages, never more than 16, for a very good reason. They cause liver damage. They do not cause immediate liver damage in overdoses, but cause liver failure anything up to three weeks after ingestion, even if the stomach contents have been voided at time of ingestion.

As an ENT theatre sister at Kings College Hospital, I cannot count the times we had to tracheostomise young girls, from the liver failure unit, who had taken overdoses of paracetemol after a tiff with their boyfriend, with exam worries, or just when they wanted someone to notice them.

The availability of Paracetomol in small quantities will hopefully do much to end these tragic and avoidable deaths. I am amazed that S Antczak (letter, 9 November) puts his freedom above other people's lives.