Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicago Tribune Goes Conspiracy Theory: The Kelly Mysteries

Wow, the man, who knows a lot of secrets about Obama/Blagojevich Chicago Democrats, dies, and the Chicago Tribune goes as conspiracy theory as mainstream media is ever likely to get. From the Chicago Tribune:

There are plenty of questions surrounding the death of Christopher Kelly, the one-time confidante of Rod Blagojevich who was headed off to prison soon.

Questions about what drugs Kelly took. Questions about the "mystery man" with gray hair who tried to pick up Kelly's Cadillac SUV from the hospital. Questions about whether the pressure to cooperate with federal authorities or the prospect of a long stretch in prison, drove him to suicide. Questions about how his death will impact the prosecution of Blagojevich.

There's something else that deserves real scrutiny: What kind of medical care did Kelly get at Oak Forest Hospital and Stroger Hospital?

Here's what we know: Kelly, who was to begin a nearly 8-year federal sentence this week for federal mail fraud and other offenses, was found inside his SUV late Friday. He was covered in vomit and appeared to be suffering from a drug overdose. His girlfriend drove him to Oak Forest Hospital, where he was admitted at about 11:15 p.m. Friday.

Kelly told a police officer that he took Tylenol for pain because of a recent surgery. Kelly's girlfriend told the police that he had sent her text messages saying he had tried to commit suicide.

Something that's key to questions about his treatment: Kelly was lucid enough to speak to police and was stabilized at one point early Saturday. Later that morning, his condition apparently deteriorated and hospital officials sent him to Stroger Hospital, about 25 miles away.

A spokesman said it was "standard procedure" to transfer patients from one county health facility to Stroger when a higher level of care is needed. Kelly died at Stroger at 10:46 a.m. Saturday. After an autopsy, the Cook County medical examiner's office said more study is needed to determine a cause of death.

Stroger Hospital officials told the medical examiner's office that Kelly apparently suffered from an intoxication of salicylate, a drug used in anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications such as aspirin.

But acute aspirin overdoses are generally treatable. It's surprising for a person to die of an aspirin overdose today. It's also very unusual if you reach the hospital and are able to receive treatment. A majority of people who die of drug overdoses expire before they reach a hospital, experts say.

In medicine, there are always exceptions. Some of the other possibilities:

There could have been a delayed effect from a drug that doctors didn't know Kelly took.

He could have suffered from a heart arrhythmia caused by an antidepressant or a combination of drugs.

He could have died from aspiration pneumonia, which is caused when vomit is inhaled into the lungs.

Or he could have taken such a huge overdose that nothing could have saved him.

At this point, of course, all of this is speculation. The authorities don't know exactly what killed Kelly. But they do know what they did to try to save him. Those details should be made public so at least that part of the mystery can be resolved.

1 comment:

  1. Wait, he told them he took Tylenol? Specifically? Because Tylenol isn't aspirin. It's acetaminophen. Aspirin is acetasalicylic acid. I think, though it's been awhile since chem class, that acetaminophen simply cannot cause salicylate poisoning. Either:
    1. He lied to the policeman.
    2. The policeman was inaccurate in his report.
    3. The reporter was sloppy, and didn't know that Tylenol isn't aspirin.
    4. ... CONSPIRACY!