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Reason of sudden death in sleep?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1969
Answered : 17665 Questions
When my mom died, I was the first one to see her. She was sleeping on one side, head rested on the pillow. Some kind of foam coming out of her mouth which was on the pillow too. also she had excreted.
There was no medical examination , as someone said it was an heart attack. I am not sure because she was in a very comfortable position. Would like to ask your opinion on possible cause of death
Posted Wed, 1 Aug 2012 in Heart Failure
Answered by Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani 1 hour later
Thanks for writing in.
We cannot determine the exact cause of death with signs of foam and excretion as they are common with all causes of death. This is because of loss of reflexes.
Most commonly we attribute the cause to be cardiac arrest. Such way it may be that your mother might have got massive myocardial infarction causing sudden death. We see many people suddenly collapsing even without any risk factors for heart attack.
At the time of attack she might have felt breathing difficulty and gasping for oxygen giving rise to foam coming out.
In sudden cardiac arrest patient might have high blood pressure, heart problem or there may not any such problem.
There is another possibility of having sudden pulmonary embolism which again can cause sudden death.
In syncope there is again a chance of sudden death.
Hope, I answered your query.
If you have further query or clarification, please ask.
I will try to satisfy you.
Keep courage and keep good health.
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