Autopsy Results Reveal Cause of Death

Esmin Green, the 49year old lady that died in the Emergency Room of a New York Hospital after waiting for more than 24 hours to see a doctor (and then collapsed on the floor for more than 1 hour before being attended to) has been confirmed on autopsy to have suffered from Deep Vein Thrombosis.

This video, courtesy of Associated Press explains further:

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), aka economy class syndrome , is a condition associated with clotting of the deep veins in the legs usually aggravated by prolonged sitting down. Although reported amongst travellers in the back of the plane, this condition is not exclusive to the ‘cattle-class’ as many doctors, this blogger included, have come across DVT among business-class travellers.

This poor lady could have got this condition having waited more than 24 hours in the waiting-room!

By itself,DVT is not potentially fatal, but it is the travelling of this clot (now known as embolus) to the lungs, causing a blockage of the blood vessels of the lungs(pulmonary embolus) that is the one that can lead to potentially fatal results, as in this case.

The bigger question, of course, is why a patient has been allowed to wait for over a day in the emergency room of a large hospital? And why were there so many apathetic people around?

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3 responses

  1. Hey doc!!! Glad to see you here in the blogosphere. I shall go read your posts.

  2. She was almost certainly given an antipsychotic when she arrived at the hospital, and some of them can actually cause blood clots. I have no doubt sitting for 24 hours contributed to it, too, but I’d be surprised in this case if the medication they gave her didn’t directly lead to her death.

  3. Appreciate your comments.
    There was mention in the YouTube video that she had paranoid schizophrenia. The main medications used would have been phenothiazines, haloperidol or/and risperdal, all of which will cause motor retardation and enable patients such as this to be withdrawn and remain in one position for prolonged periods. Not sure about these drugs causing blood clots though…

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