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My mom passed away at 59 years old due to a fall down the

Hi , My mom passed away...
Hi ,
My mom passed away at 59 years old due to a fall down the stairs and she had numerous injuries broken bones and catastrophic brain injuries. The hospital said that her death was caused by this. My brother wanted a full autopsy and toxicology report because my mom had battled alcoholism for many years,she hadn't had a drink in over a week and she had been showing signs of being ill from years of alcoholism,she went into a facility and she stopped drinking several times. I was concerned about her health as she was becoming weak and her coworkers said she looked ill the day before she passed. She developed shingles last summer which she had to take a week off of work and she was trying to stay away from it but too much time and too soon after detox,she relapsed. She had fallen at my brother's because her legs felt tingly and she fell again in front of me but was conscious and she went to dr and they said they would run tests. My mom was a modest and amazingly beautiful woman who had to struggle her entire life. She never disclosed any serious issues about her health if something were wrong. We are still waiting for the toxicology report and they say it takes 3-6 months. It has been a little over 8 weeks. Is this typical? I want to know what happened but at the same time I don't want to know how much she suffered, I am having trouble coming to terms or making sense that she is gone!I know that she died because of the fall! I just want to know if there is anything you can tell me about what they might find and if they go by a toxicology report by her falling. I have so many questions and i feel like I don't know where to go with this!When my mom fell,she never made a sound,her boyfriend heard the fall and the only thing that happened was after the paramedics arrived,she got up and tried to walk away and said it hurts it hurts and they asked her what her name was etc..then she went into shock and never regained consciousness.Is it possible that she blacked out if she got up and walked away or a seizure?Can they get up and speak after that or a heart attack?I think the hospital would of told us if she had any of the following?
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
8/10/2013
Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8,322
Experience: MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I shall try my best to assist you while you are corresponding with me.
Yes, they typically take long, in tv serials they are interpreted in warp speed while in reality they can take from weeks to months.
Getting a complete and accurate forensic toxicology test result can be a lengthy process for a variety of reasons.
First of all the samples are not only collected from blood, urine and body fluids but various organs from autopsy like the liver, lung, brain, vitreous of the eye etc are also collected. A complete record is formulated and these are sent in specially containers to the lab and forensic toxicologists and pathologist for tests to be run.
Since, there may be a lot of specimens that need to be tested, which means more testing time. And as an investigation proceeds, information about the possibility of another drug being involved may surface, so even more testing may be needed.
When the first round of positive tests have to be confirmed by the more sophisticated method, this may require sending out the specimens to more specialized laboratories. And that adds to the delay. 6 to 8 weeks is pretty standard and can take more than that as well in complicated cases.
It is possible that your mother since you stated was an alcoholic and had not had a drink in over a week, was suffering from alcohol withdrawal. A condition that is characterized by seizures, hallucinations, shaking, sweating, nausea, agitation, headaches and confusion.
Her boyfriend or someone who was with her at the time can confirm if she had those symptoms prior to the fall.
When she fell she could have had a concussion and a internal hemorrhage in the brain, such an injury can take a few minutes before the person finally goes in to coma or gets unconscious.
Sometimes, the person can faint in the first instance but get up and start walking and be normal for a while, even for a few hours before finally getting in to coma. This is known as a Lucid interval and is indicative of an epidural hemorrhage or hematoma.
A lucid interval can be seen in the post ictal phase of seizures (after a seizure) and heat strokes as well and is not specific to traumatic brain injury only, so this could have been the case and the alcohol withdrawal symptoms and a seizure, then the fall and lucid interval could be the explanation.
I understand how you feel because I lost my mother a few years back and yes, it is hard to accept the reality especially when the cause of death is sudden and unnatural but by personal experience, it is best to let go and come to terms with it. Being a doctor I know that there are a lot of ways to go - some worse than others and one should thank the Higher Power for not taking away a loved one in a grave manner and granting us the opportunity to say our final good byes to the departed at their funerals.
Hope this helps.
Please do leave a positive rating if satisfied.
If you have more queries or need more information on the subject reply back without rating.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi

thank you so much for all the information! You explained in detail thoroughly and i am sorry for your loss too.I wanted to ask you as you said that it usually takes six to eight weeks in your description.Is that for the results and her death certificate to be amended from pending to an actual cause and manner? Is this,typically all resolved within three months? Is it possible thaf i may hear something by thi

Thanks for the details and for the condolences.

6 to 8 weeks typically for the results to be revealed. Then, if there is a difference in the actual cause of death interpreted by forensic toxicology and pathology reports then the death certificate is amended, that may take from a couple of days to a week depending upon local management and their schedules and backlog. I think your hospital said 3 months in toto including amendment of the death certificate, if required. Its best not to rush them since, that affects the interpretation and impedes the process.
Hope this helps.
Please do leave a positive rating if satisfied.
If you have more queries or need more information on the subject reply back without rating.
Best.
Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8,322
Experience: MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi

I forgot to mention that I spoke to a medical examiner and she stated that there wasn't a hold on my mom's case?Could you please elaborate what that could possibly mean?Is this for criminal or something else? By the way I am giving you the highest ratings possible!I tried to do so on my android,however it would freeze.So you shall see the ratings!I really appreciate this,

Best Regards,

Celeste

Thank you very much for the ratings. I appreciate it.

Yes, in layman's terms this means that the process of toxicology is going smoothly and there is no pending issue on your mother's case and everything is going according to order.
Hold is when a case scenario changes and when an issue comes up for example, a change in the original toxicology tests or a new drug shows in the system which was not mentioned in the history or data provided and other issues like criminal investigations. A hold could be because of many reasons. The medical examiner means that there is nothing delaying your mom's reports and this means that they will be issued on time.
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