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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD and Pericarditis

11/24/2010

Question:

My mother recently passed away and due to her recent health check by her GP, whereby, she was fine ( well better than she had been for sometime)a post mortem was completed as death was not expected by G.P. or family.

She had recently been prescribed home oxygen at 1 litre for a maximum of 15 hours a day. She had to have it when she slept as tests in hospital had shown her to be in danger of respitatory failure if she didnt.

Her post mortem results denote that death was caused by Pericarditis, could her not having her oxygen during the night in question have caused her death, as she had for some reason not had it on during that night, something she always adhered to normally. She had no pains, or infections bad enough to warrant a course of antibiotics or low dose of steriods.

We knew she was unwell, but we are finding it hard to understand why she died so quickly after being provided oxygen and being told she was not end stage, in fact her last effort 2 weeks ago with the blow test, was the best in about 1 year.

many thanks

Answer:

It would be unlikely that not using 1 liter of oxygen at night would be the cause of your mother's death.  There also is no obvious connection between her not using the oxygen and the finding of pericarditis on post-mortem examination.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University