Age 32, cardiac arrest....

Dec 21 2009 Published by under Drug Fatality

Le Sigh.
A young actor is dead at 32 of cardiac arrest. At least that is what the early reporting is saying. Also that Brittany Murphy collapsed in the shower. Some additional reporting indicates that she'd lost a great deal of weight recently, some photographs that have been published seem to confirm that impression. Some suggestion of her being on multiple prescription drugs for multiple unnamed ailments.
'cause you know what is coming next. My only questions are "Which drugs?" and "In what combination?".

34 responses so far

  • In the most recent available photos, she looks emaciated. My first thought in relation to causality was "anorexia/bulimia -> severe electrolyte imbalance -> sudden cardiac arrest".

  • Greg Laden says:

    And which doctor (or should I say Witch Doctor) in which version of reality holywood folks seem to live in (or is it just California...)

  • Van Rijn says:

    Aw... She did brilliant voice work as Luanne on King Of The Hill. The Manger Babies shall speak no more. 🙁

  • sunny egoan says:

    or is it just California
    Ledger was NY and doctor shopping in multiple countries. MJ's doc was licensed in, what, texas or something. this crap knows no locale...

  • stripey_cat says:

    My first thought was "what are the unknown ailments", and my second was along the same lines as Physioprof's suggestion. Sadly, I don't think I'm terribly representative of laymen (or laywomen) who'll pick up on this case. I hope the poor woman had not been vaccinated recently, for instance.

  • Greg Laden says:

    I was referring to Hollywood, double dumbass.

  • Orac says:

    Another possibility: The flu.
    It still seems rather unlikely, but apparently she had a flu-like illness in the days leading up to her death.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    There are the drugs and there is the con-artist husband in the house at the time of her collapse, following a party the night before. Just wait until Larry King will get his program on this case going and going and going....

  • No reports of any family history of early death due to CV disease/hypercholesterolemia. So, I want pharmacology/pathophysiology - I like PhysioProf's non-pharmacology possibility, though. I had originally thought Rx opioids until I learned she died in the shower at 8 am; you die of opioids in bed.
    Tragic regardless.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    well, perhaps "check all of the above". Normally a 32 year old should be pretty robust against insult...

  • S. Rivlin says:

    The autopsy results should provide a probable cause. Once published, the media dance will begin.

  • the con-artist husband

    What the fuck are you talking about, Fucklington, you paranoid freak?

  • S. Rivlin says:

    Hey CPProfane,
    Read for yourself, you little fecal orifice.
    "Monjack has been labeled a con artist by the tabloids and he has a long trail of shady dealings: at least two apartment evictions for failure to pay thousands of dollars in back rent, a $470,132 court judgment against him by a British investment bank, a $50,000 lawsuit from his ex-wife. A different ex-fiance claims Monjack gave her an engagement ring that was cubic zirconia, not diamond as he had told her.
    He may have also had a hand in his wife's firing from 'Shrinking Charlotte' just two weeks ago, from which she was reportedly let go for her difficulty on set. Director Michael Z. Gordon tells Showbiz411 that it was not Murphy's behavior that was the problem, but her husband's. "Monjack came on the set inebriated," Gordon said. "The producers wanted to keep him away. Brittany of course defended him. And so she was let go."...."

  • Fucklington, you credulous moron, you believe everything you read in a second-hand account of what the "tabloids" and interested parties have to say about Monjack? You really are a pathetic joke. Go back to tormenting your fucking grandchildren.

  • dave says:

    The local -- Detroit -- news said something about a history of diabetes. So DM1, losing weight, maybe likes the effect of not treating her hyperglycemia causing increased weight loss? So working with the assumption that her having diabetes is true.
    - Hypoglycemia
    - Hyperglycemia with DKA
    - Cardiac arrest 2/2 electorlyte abnormalities in an anorrhexic diabetic
    - other complications of severe anorrhexia: spontaneous pneumothorax leading to tension pneumothorax +/- spontaneous pneumomediastinum, cardiac arrest
    - Caridac arrest 2/2 conduction abnormality
    - MI 2/2 to DM
    - drug overdose
    - Trauma: slipped and fell in shower then hit head
    - Boerhaave's esophagus -- i.e esophageal rupture from vomiting -- this wouldn't be fast, sepsis and mediastinitus
    - Upper GI bleed from vomiting
    Eh, who am I kidding? Xanax, Ambien, and alcohol while in the shower. Say good night gracie... gracie?

  • just doug says:

    It's always seemed to me that since success in entertainment is so random, fleeting and fickle the stars frequently suffer from something akin to survivor's guilt. Why were they successful when their fellow struggling artists, many with more talent, never did? Many find their answers in Scientology or other mystical explanation, others never do and feeling they don't deserve their success somehow find a way to end it.

  • Mama Isis was in her 30s when she had her cardiac arrest, but DM's theories are the most probable, I suppose.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    CPProfane, you are surely an expert on tabloid writing and publishing, judging from your list of publications.

  • Sorry I don't publish in the shit-ass sub-moron journals you built your career on. No fraud there, because it just ain't fucking worth it. It'd be like robbing a fucking little kid lemonade stand and stealing the fucking lemon seeds.

  • Funky Fresh says:

    Awww!!! Sol and PP, back together again! I knew this blog was missing something!!!!!

  • S. Rivlin says:

    Your blog is the mother of all tabloids, the gutter of all yellow newspapers.
    You have no idea where I publish my research. NIH funding surely does not assures great science or blockade of fraudsters from receiving funding. Watch the NYT soon to find more about your buddies who, like you, are funded by the NIH. And BTW, fraudsters do publish in high IF journals, too. There's a long list of little fecal orifices like you who managed to cheat their way onto the pages of Science and Nature.

  • SurgPA says:

    I'll confess. My first two thoughts were anorexa/bulemia and drugs, in that order. But before labelling her death as self-inflicted, I'd like to see the autopsy report.
    A quick search found an informative study from Denmark on sudden "cardiac" death in persons

  • SurgPA says:

    Aarrrrgh!!! The meat of my argument got clipped. Here it is.
    A quick search found an informative study from Denmark on sudden "cardiac" death in persons under 35yrs. They looked at all deaths from 2000-2006 (plug for national health database!) and found 8.5% that pre-autopsy were likely due to sudden cardiac death (ie Brittany). 75% of these were ultimately autopsied and statistics compiled from this cohort. 26% were found to be non-cardiac, 9% pulmonary embolus, 9% ischemia, 4% aortic dissection (probably related to marfan syndrome), 4% myocarditis (Brittany was reported to have had flu-like symptoms preceeding her death.) In 28% no cause was found at autopsy, and they were presumed to have a fatal arrythmia - "sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, SADS."

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Thanks for the info SurgPA. The husband is insisting no drugs so hopefully my cynical take is incorrect.

  • MonkeyPox says:

    Sudden Cardiac death (SCD) isn't terribly uncommon, but in general 32 year olds die of "unintentional injury" before any other cause, with suicide and homicide being the next most common but still far behind.

  • MonkeyPox says:

    Oh, and did Sol just cite HuffPo? Because citing huffpo in any context other than parody or criticism is a sign of severe cognitive debility.

  • SurgPA says:

    #25 - The point is valid; the Danish study found just 8.5% of all deaths in this age group were initially reported as SCD, so 91.5%% were other causes. And maybe her husband laced her martini with arsenic. But apparently there was no external evidence of trauma (hard to imagine death by injury with no external findings), and her case would be one that falls into the cohort the Danes examined. In some perverse way it would be interesting to see how the results would change if run on a cohort of Hollywood youngsters. I bet they'd be different...

  • MonkeyPox says:

    I hear what you're saying, SurgPA, but that doesn't explain why Sol is a raving lunatic.

  • SurgPA says:

    Another valid point. I have no explanation for that...

  • Comrade PhysioProf says:

    Shitlin is a washed-up old-fuck Walter Mitty who is pissed off that the world has passed him by and left his fantasies of success in the gutter, and his grandchildren beg him to leave them the fuck alone and go play on the Internet.

  • msphd says:

    I don't think anyone mentioned this, and I'd like DM's expert opinion - couldn't it have been related to birth control pills (I cite, for example, recent uproar over Yaz)?
    Not to be too naive, but I hate to assume things about people's habits.
    I always liked her work and was looking forward to the rest of her career. Tragic and scary not knowing what happened.

  • PalMD says:

    Birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots (although not that much), especially if combined with cigarettes, but it would be pretty unusual if she had a massive pulmonary embolism. I think that's a bit less likely than some of the other possibilities.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    The rumors about Murphy's husband, though some commenters here are dismissing as tabloid talk, continue to persist. One cannot dismiss the emotional stress that the behavior and con-artistry of a shmuck such as Simon Monjack could inflict on Murphy, stress that may contributed to her heart attack.

  • leigh says:

    here's another recent unexplained death, far less publicized. 28-year-old drummer James Sullivan, a member of the band Avenged Sevenfold, was found dead at his home. no signs of foul play. wonder what the toxicology will uncover.

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