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Old 05-18-2010, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: Toxic Drug Blood Levels

I am so sorry for your losses but I may have a bit of a clue based on something that happened to me.

It's not the toxicity of one or more drugs that can kill you but the combination of drugs that all have the same kind of action on the ability to breath or the steadiness of ones heart beat. I had some major surgery that made me throw up horribly afterward. They tried one medication to stop it, then added a second, then a third. After 4 days of this, they reluctantly added a 4th and I stopped breathing for 2 1/2 minutes and became semi-comatose. None of the doses were high....but all could suppress respiration and I was sensitive to them.

For 24 hours they watched as I kept stopping breathing and hoped I'd get through it...that was all they could do...keep breathing for me while the drugs got out of my system. The exact same thing happened to my brother-in-law many years earlier due to a build up of Valium in his system.

If you remember the famous case of Karen Ann Quinlen where the parents fought to take her off life support, she only took Valium and had a few drinks but both alcohol and Valium can depress the breathing reflex and that is what stopped her breathing long enough to make her brain dead but not kill her.

In susceptible people, it may not take much to stop you from breathing and you don't know you are one of those susceptible people until it is too late.

Again, I am so sorry for your losses. You should feel free to call the coroner's office and ask them to explain it to you. They are paid with your tax money so they work for you and should answer all your questions. I'm surprised they didn't tell you this initially.