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    Monday, June 29, 2009

    MICHAEL JACKSON—A PERFECT STORM

    “This time media overkill and sudden death have come together to create a perfect storm, a storybook ending to public fascination: The end of one entertainer’s lifelong struggles and a never-ending media chase all in the same scene. It is, however, still not safe to go back to the news.”

    No. I’m not referring to Michael Jackson.

    This was the heading of a new story about Anna Nicole Smith’s death who died suddenly at a hotel in Florida. This was also the way Marilyn Monroe, died of drugs and barbiturates. The medical examiner in the Smith case said the cause of death was "combined drug intoxication" with the sleeping medications as the major factor in combination with therapeutic levels of other drugs used to treat pain. Drug associated sudden death was also the way Smith’s son died five months earlier.

    Smith was taking a lengthy list of other medications, including methadone for pain, Valium, anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs. She had also recently taken longevity medications, B12 and growth hormone.

    Bacterial infection from injecting drugs into her buttocks were contributory causes in her death. Some of the medications Smith was taking were prescribed to her, some to other aliases she used or to other people, but all of the drugs she was on were intended for her."Miss Smith had a long history of prescription drug use and over-self medicating. It can become very toxic if you mix it with any other central nervous system depressant drugs. You could get profound sedation leading up to coma and respiratory arrest."

    There was no evidence of suicide. There was no suicide note. Smith also suffered stress from the various lawsuits she was involved in.
    Does all this sound familiar?

    Michael Jackson, age 50, was pronounced at the UCLA Medical Center, after being found unconscious and without respiration at a rented home in Los Angeles.
    At approximately 1:14 p.m., a team of doctors including emergency physicians and cardiologists attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than one hour, and they were unsuccessful," Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson said during a Thursday press conference. A cadiologist at Indiana University in Indianapolis, opined that cardiac arrest was "the first thing that came to mind" after hearing of the singer's sudden death, and also pointed out that 30% to 50% of such events occur in people with no preceding history.

    In this case also drugs, prescription and otherwise- and even some heroin use probably played a major role. There was also a lot of morphine. A lot of different drugs, say British newspapers including The Sun and the Times of London, citing an anonymous hospital worker and another source, who reported that Jackson received an injection of meperidine (Demerol) shortly before collapsing in his home. Jackson's health appeared to be worsening in recent years. In 2005,Jackson just like his predecessor Anna Nicole Smith was also hospitalized due to "dehydration with the flu."

    Jackson himself had admitted to a painkiller addiction in 1993. He claimed that his addiction stemmed from an injury he sustained in 1984, when a special effects explosion during the filming for a Pepsi commercial badly burned his head. He also claimed that the mental stress of child-molestation allegations fueled his need for medication.

    Jackson also reportedly suffered from back pain -- a condition that took the spotlight during his much-publicized trial in 2005 for allegedly molesting a young boy. Jackson failed to show up for a court appointment, ostensibly because his back pain became so severe that he had to go to the hospital instead The chief suspected cause of Jackson's death continues to be cardiac arrest.

    Is there anyone left that does not know that cardiac arrest or sudden death is the chief manifestation of drug abuse?

    I doubt it.

    We’re going to be faced with months of reporting on this—about drugs—about who will take care of his children—about his debts and most of all his accruing income to his estate ala’ Elvis. I have a request. Let’s stop the news cycle now and just remember Jackson as we do Elvis as great and innovative entertainers who gave us a lot of pleasure during the years we were lucky to know them.


    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice.

    For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

    1 comment:

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