Death during sleep, say forensic experts.

Regardless of why a man died from carbon monoxide poisoning to serious diseases of the brain, first and foremost, it is important to determine the cause of death. And it just is difficult. Forensic experts shared information, how they determine that the death was violent or occurred in resultsfocused, and how to determine the cause of death in young people.

If you said a friend died in his sleep, it may mean that the cause of death is not precisely determined, or relatives want to keep it a secret. But if omercial young healthy person, it is important to find answers to questions.

Those who remain to live in this world and was deeply saddened because of the loss of a loved one, it is very important to know why they died, to draw a line. And for family members of the deceased this is particularly important information because the awareness of heredity, which affects the risk of dying in a dream could potentially save the lives of his loved ones.

Died at home in sleep: action

If a loved one died at home, especially during sleep, subsequently you need to inform forensic experts about what happened and the fact if the fact of death is not confirmed by evidence, says Dr. Candace Schopp, forensic pathologist and medical examiner in the County of Dallas (USA).

Regardless of whether we accept the case or not, a lot depends on what medical history was the patient and what are the circumstances of his death, the expert adds.

The age of the deceased is a very important factor in the case, says Dr. Schopp. The younger a person is, the more often done an autopsy, if not known main causes of death.In the case of serious age (over 50 years) of the victim, or the presence of diagnosis and the absence of signs of violent death, experts are unlikely to do an autopsy.

The younger a person is, the more done the autopsy.


Death under suspicious circumstances, under suspicion of suicide, besides the house, and even in the dream is another matter. I will always check the version of suicide, if the person died in bed. According to Scoppa, the following key points suggest thoughts of suicide:

  • metarossite discovered strange objects;
  • there is ambiguity in history;
  • the deceased was very young;
  • the late distinguished good health.

According to forensic pathologist, experts also often consider the version of an accidental overdose of medication. In recent years, an increasing number of people who incorrectly took prescription painkillers. Among them were often seen opioids (opiates) are narcotic analgesics.

Accidents in the home

Every year marked by tragic deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning, including at home and during sleep.This tells Dr. Patrick Lantz, Professor at the Department of pathological anatomy at the medical school of Wake forest University (Wake Forest University), medical examiner and pathologist in the state of North Carolina (USA).

Because of irregularities in the work of gas boiler or column can be released carbon monoxide through the house. In this case, people can easily suffocate with smoke and die, says Lantz.

Or sometimes this situation: a person built a garage in the house. He started the car to warm it. And left the garage door closed. Carbon monoxide is spreading fast, and fosamine serious gas poisoning, says Lantz.

The cases are different. Suppose someone got electrocuted because there was a damaged wire in the electrical household appliance, e.g. hair dryer. People could touch the wire in the bath. He falls to the floor and falls asleep or falls on the bed. Not always that a person can be detected near the appliance, says the expert.

According to Lanza, if ever you find a dead person in bed, your actions will depend on the circumstances of the incident: If the deceased had cancer or chronic cardiovascular disease, the best option is to call home therapist.

In any case, if the death occurred suddenly and unexpectedly, it is important to call an ambulance (103) and police (102). There are cases that the person is alive, but he’s barely breathing and had a pulse, you can’t tell. It is therefore important to seek professional help to understand whether the person died in his sleep, says Patrick Lantz.

If the death occurred suddenly, it is important to call a team of medical care in Ukraine (103) and police (102). There are cases that the person is alive, but he’s barely breathing and had a pulse, you can’t tell. It is therefore important to turn to a professional to understand the person is alive or not.

Heart issues in my sleep

Adults who died of natural causes, including at home and in the dream, and sent for an autopsy, often the person from 20 to 55. The reason for opening an unknown cause of death; besides, they have very few facts and records in medical record, says Dr. Schopp.

According to the expert, many of the dead were observed:

  • a small increase in blood pressure (hypertension);
  • diabetes;
  • obesity.

In most cases, we are confronted in their practice with undiagnosed cardiovascular disease, she adds.

When a person dies suddenly by night or by day, it is often associated with the phenomenon of cardiac arrhythmia, said Schopp. In the event of serious cardiac arrhythmias spread of the cardiac impulse in the heart can be broken. Autopsy of the heart can detect scarring, he said.

The heart of a patient may be increased in patients receiving large amounts of alcohol or as a result of obesity, explains the forensic pathologist. Besides, the heart is abnormally large sizes in connection with congenital heart disease.

Disease family

It is very important to understand the cause of the unexpected death of a loved one, especially if he died before in a dream, says Lantz. First, it helps to explain to the family why the man died, the expert explains. This is especially important to realize if a key role is played by the hereditary factor in the case, he adds.

Genetic diseases that can lead to rapid death, include the number of channelopathies. This is a group of hereditary or acquired neuromuscular diseases associated with disruption of the structure and function of ion channels in the membranes of muscle cells or nerve fibers. Such diseases constitute a violation of the flow of ions through the cells, in particular:

  • potassium;
  • sodium;
  • calcium.

The disease is caused by mutations in genes of ion channels.

Channelopathies guilty in causing some cases of cardiac arrhythmia among young people, says Dr. Schopp. Often as a result of canaloplasty person dies in his sleep.

Brugada syndrome, for example, can lead to heart rhythm disorders in the lower chamber of the heart. Brugada syndrome is often inherited among Asians. This disease may be asymptomatic. Sometimes people just don’t know what this disease is fatal to life. This sudden death syndrome, which is caused by polymorphic ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.

Fibrillation rapid contraction of individual muscle fibers of the heart, in violation of their synchronous activity (heart rate) and pump function. Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia is a rare form of ventricular tachycardia in which the amplitude of the ventricular complexes varies according to the type of sine wave, and complexes of the minimum amplitude of the connect phase of the opposite polarity.

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Associated symptoms:

The rhythm of the heart Pain in heart when breathing inDepressionShortness of breath Pain with a deep breath Frequent urination (pollakiuria) Dry mouth Headache Weight gain

Saving lives

Guided by the results of the autopsy, the experts can advise the relatives of the deceased, who died at home in her sleep,to make a diagnosis, to identify serious genetic disease and speed up treatment in case the disease is confirmed. Sometimes doctors only see the disease, and in some cases assigned to direct treatment. If doctors diagnose certain kinds of arrhythmia, the patients are offered to purchase an implantable defibrillator to the heart.

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a device of the type of pacemaker, that monitors the rhythm of heartbeats. If the device detects a not too serious rhythm disturbance, it generates a series of painless electrical pulses to correct the rhythm.

If that does not work or the rhythm disturbance is severe enough, the instrument ICD generates a small electrical shock, called cardioversion. If that does not work or the rhythm disturbance is very severe, the ICD device generates even stronger electric shock, called defibrillation.

Prevention and diagnosis of the relatives of the deceased

Diseases of the wall of the aorta the large, Central artery that carries blood from the heart to the body, can lead to aortic rupture and sudden death. Articulo aneurysm a hereditary disease. An extension of the lumen of a blood vessel or the heart cavity, due to pathological changes of their walls, or anomalies of development.

Normally the family members offer to do in a case of aneurysm of the deceased, including in my sleep:

  • echocardiogram;
  • computed tomography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

When doctors see that the aorta starts to expand, they propose to apply the methods of preventive surgery, according to Lantz. And then it is possible to prevent sudden death, said the doctor.

Schopp, says that when the hereditary disease was the probable cause of death, representatives of her institution call family. Sometimes personally I clearly explain on the phone, she says. In the autopsy report, I point out that it is a genetic mutation that is inherited, and recommend the closest family members (especially parents, brothers, sisters, children) to go for a consultation with a therapist and be diagnosed, says expert.

Mental health issues

When doctors take into account mental health issues, it means that they want to establish whether the person died a natural death or not, especially if this happened at home and during sleep.Forensic experts necessary to conduct thorough work in this direction and to communicate with loved ones of the deceased, says Lantz.

Normally it is judicial-medical experts such as asking questions friends of the deceased:

  • Maybe the person was in a state of depression?
  • If he was ever serious narcotics or sedatives?
  • Voiced does it sometimes their attitude to suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts?

If family members answer in the affirmative to at least one of these questions, forensic medical experts decide to do an autopsy.

If we receive similar information about the features of the deceased, for example: that he was depressed; traced suicidal tendencies, I think any expert will tell you to do the autopsy. The age of the deceased in this case is not important. Experts then want to exclude the possibility of suicide, he says.

Associated diseases:

HypertensionEncephalitisMeningitisEpilepsyCancer DiabetesObesityPoisoningDepressionArrhythmia

Brain disease

According to Lanza, the brain disease that can cause sudden death, including at home and during sleep, are the following:

  • a massive stroke;
  • massive hemorrhage due to aneurysm of cerebral vessels.

What is a brain aneurysm? This weakening of the wall of one of the blood vessels in the head. Because, as blood circulates in the head, because of this slabinki of the vessel wall protrude. As in the case of overly inflated balloon, the bulge can cause rupture, with the result that there is a bleeding in the brain.

According to Lanza, in the case of infections such as meningitis and encephalitis, can be fatal for the human body. In General, the development of such serious diseases there are clear symptoms that should be considered.

Epilepsy is known as a disease that leads to death in a dream, says Mr. Schopp. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the amount of oxygen decreases to the brain, and this provokes an epileptic seizure. According to her, usually in the patient’s history has already been observed, such attacks of epilepsy.

Causes of death among apparently healthy

According to Schopp, the frequency of sudden deaths among healthy people (in view) in his bed at home and during sleep depends on how people understand the word healthy. Obesity is a frequent cause of sudden death, said forensic pathologist, Schopp. For example, I meet a lot of people in my practice who have severe coronary insufficiency. Besides, I often see the work of patients who have clogged arteries. Such phenomena, all younger, the doctor admits.

The incidence of sudden death among healthy people (in view) in my bed depends on how people understand the word healthy.

Coronary insufficiency is a term that means the reduction or complete cessation of coronary blood flow with inadequate myocardial oxygen supply and nutrients.

According to Schopp, sometimes people, because of their low income levels and characteristics of living conditions may not have any entries in the medical record within 15 years due to the fact that he couldn’t go to the doctor.

Rarely people die in my bed in the dream, suddenly and unexpectedly, says Lantz. Sometimes it happens. In most cases, when death came entirely without warning, forensic experts examine such incidents very carefully. We would like to opening more often, then we will be able to inform relatives of the deceased better, hopes doctor.

Source: US News

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