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Heath Ledger 'may have died from natural causes'
News.com.au/ ^ | January 28, 2008 12:45pm

Posted on 01/28/2008 1:14:27 PM PST by Perdogg

SOURCES involved in the investigation into Aussie actor Heath Ledger's death say he might have died from natural causes, according to US website TMZ.

The site has revealed that sources, who it says are "intimately involved" in the death case, say the level of toxicity (caused by medication) in Ledger's blood was low enough that it may not have caused his death.

The revelation sheds new light on the actor's death which, so far, has been the subject of much speculation.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: breadandcircuses; brokebackmountain; dope; hollyweirdo; hollywood; whocares

1 posted on 01/28/2008 1:14:28 PM PST by Perdogg
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To: Perdogg
On the one hand, the masseuse could not have heard him snoring, because he had been dead for 3 hours, and rigor mortis had already begun to set in.

On the other hand, it's a shame that 911 wasn't called right away -- precious minutes were wasted while the masseuse called Mary Kate Olsen.

I'm not sure these two factoids go together very well, but I don't think the journalist caught it.

2 posted on 01/28/2008 1:24:33 PM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: Perdogg
SOURCES involved in the investigation into Aussie actor Heath Ledger's death say he might have died from natural causes,

"Might have..."

This article is really useful in that it narrows down the possibilities to natural causes or unnatural causes.

3 posted on 01/28/2008 1:26:21 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

I’ve seen nothing to indicate anything other than natural causes, either in the descriptions of the incident, or in potential motive motive for suicide.

I think taking a powerful sleeping pill while sick with pneumonia shows bad judgement, but being sick can hamper one’s judgement. So can being dependent on sleeping pills.

I’m waiting for some actual information.


4 posted on 01/28/2008 1:30:45 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
I’m waiting for some actual information.

My only point was that this article has none.

Seemed like a nice enough guy. Hope he slipped off naturally in his sleep. That's the way to go, though sixty or so years later would be vastly preferrable.

5 posted on 01/28/2008 1:42:25 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

It sucks though, if he was too groggy to call for help when he had breathing problems. I’ve had family members sick in the past few months, and I think taking a powerful sleeping pill would be very unwise.


6 posted on 01/28/2008 1:46:00 PM PST by js1138
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To: dead

One thing is for certain. You are dead.


7 posted on 01/28/2008 1:47:05 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: dead

Please don’t take that as a threat, your name lept out at me after I read your comment.


8 posted on 01/28/2008 1:49:42 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
I certainly didn't take it as a threat! I sometimes have to use the word "deceased" instead of "dead" around here, so people don't think I'm talking about myself in the third person.

Dead doesn't do that.

9 posted on 01/28/2008 1:52:54 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

it was the housekeeper who heard him snoring around noon.


10 posted on 01/28/2008 2:04:16 PM PST by Scotswife
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To: js1138

Perhaps it was sleep apnea, that’s how Reggie White died.


11 posted on 01/28/2008 2:05:54 PM PST by dfwgator (11+7+15=3 Heismans)
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To: js1138

If he was snoring, he may have had sleep apnea, the effects of which were compounded by pneumonia, then a powerful sleeping pill.

A young man about Ledger’s age died of apnea last year, here in Utah. He had a respiratory infection. That, combined with the apnea, was enough to cause him to die in his sleep, even without the sleeping pills.


12 posted on 01/28/2008 2:07:14 PM PST by lady lawyer
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To: dfwgator

Oops. You beat me to it.


13 posted on 01/28/2008 2:07:53 PM PST by lady lawyer
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To: Perdogg

If this is true, I wonder if the media will retract all their wild speculation and character attacks implying illicit drug use, suicide, depression, etc. Probably not.


14 posted on 01/28/2008 2:12:17 PM PST by McLynnan
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To: js1138

>>>>>I think taking a powerful sleeping pill while sick with pneumonia shows bad judgement,

People with pneumonia often don’t know they have it. Just to keep it simple, symptoms could manifest more noticeably while laying down in bed, as fluids collect in the lungs making breathing more difficult. The symptoms might improve when one is standing or sitting. Because this symptom comes and goes, a person (particularly an otherwise healthy young person) might dismiss or not even consider that they have a serious illness.

A related effect of this breathing difficulty might be anxiety or even panic and certainly sleeplessness. So it’s plausible that someone with pneumonia (not knowing they have it) might reach for a sleeping pill thinking it will help them to “calm down”. In fact they might be overriding the signals that are saying “Hey buddy! Do something about this!”

The thing is, the pneumonia patient may now have crossed the line such that the breathing difficulty caused by increasing fluid buildup in the lungs now continues unabated because the patient is sedated. I supposed it’s even possible that the sedative itself could actually increase the rate of fluid production in the lungs.

People die of pneumonia all the time, even in hospitals and while under a doctor’s care. IMO it seems perfectly plausible that a prescribed dosage of Xanax or a sleep medication could cause a pneumonia sufferer to sleep through their own suffocation.

It’s sad really. Any competent EMS team would immediately have provided him with supplementary oxygen and probably a shot of lasix to clear the lungs.

So the bottom line is that he might have survived and been in good health today had he reached for 911 rather than a sedative.


15 posted on 01/28/2008 2:12:21 PM PST by angkor (A conservative without hyphens, qualifiers, or a political party.)
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To: lady lawyer

>>>>He had a respiratory infection. That, combined with the apnea, was enough to cause him to die in his sleep, even without the sleeping pills.

Agreed. Even respiratory infection alone (e.g., pneumonia) kills sufferers through what amounts to suffocation.


16 posted on 01/28/2008 2:21:25 PM PST by angkor (A conservative without hyphens, qualifiers, or a political party.)
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To: dead

He overdosed and naturally, his heart stopped beating.


17 posted on 01/28/2008 2:25:22 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: js1138

>>>>>breathing problems. I’ve had family members sick in the past few months, and I think taking a powerful sleeping pill would be very unwise.

I personally had something like this several months ago. Initially diagnosed in ER as “severe pneumonia”, it turned out not to be, but had some of these lung-fluid and breathing symptoms. It was pretty darned frightening until the 911 EMS arrived and provided oxygen.

Anyway, all better now but I can easily see how a *real* pneumonia sufferer might have worse symptoms and/or improper response to the symptoms and end up .....

The problem is that the lung-fluids can be episodic: one minute you’re fine and 10 minutes later you’re having breathing problems. Then fine again. If you ignore those swings too many times or for too long, a subsequent episode might be the last.

My caution is that if you see someone else having these kinds of breathing episodes, and particularly if their breathing or coughing sounds “wet”, you should make sure that they get to an ER or call 911 on their behalf. This stuff can seem innocuous but it can also kill.


18 posted on 01/28/2008 2:35:20 PM PST by angkor (A conservative without hyphens, qualifiers, or a political party.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

thats wrong, the maid was the one that reportedly heard the snoring, not the massuese


19 posted on 01/28/2008 2:38:18 PM PST by brwnsuga (Proud, Black, Conservative!!!)
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To: McLynnan
If this is true, I wonder if the media will retract all their wild speculation and character attacks implying illicit drug use, suicide, depression, etc. Probably not.

Or that playing the Joker is what killed him.

20 posted on 01/28/2008 4:27:12 PM PST by pcottraux (I can't tell the difference between Carl Cameron, Chris Wallace, or Bill McCuddy.)
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To: pcottraux

You don’t think it’s because he suddenly realised what Brokeback was about?


21 posted on 01/28/2008 4:30:14 PM PST by YCTHouston
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To: dead

Hmm... “Osama bin Laden is dead.” I wonder...


22 posted on 01/28/2008 4:35:15 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: dfwgator
I have sleep apnea, and they typically won’t allow me to have sleeping pills because they can be fatal. Having insomnia, I can tell you this really sucks sometimes.

They will let me take certain other meds as a substitute, but they are not near as effective as Ambien.

23 posted on 01/28/2008 5:48:43 PM PST by SlapHappyPappy
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To: pcottraux

“Or that playing the Joker is what killed him.”

which may indirectly be true - but not in the way the media is describing it.

He said the role was demanding and he was starting to have trouble with insomnia.

Maybe it’s as simple as stress leading to physical illness - only he wasn’t aware how sick he was.


24 posted on 01/28/2008 10:23:40 PM PST by Scotswife
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To: Scotswife

I think people who are sensitive and intense, and are perfectionists, are more susceptable to the effects of stress. The body has too much of the stress hormones floating around, and the body gets wound up, leading to anxiety and insomnia. Western medicine doesn’t know how to address this kind of thing, unfortunately.


25 posted on 01/30/2008 12:21:24 PM PST by Abigail Adams
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