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Doctor insights on: Why Would A Heroin Overdose Cause Respiratory

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Dr. Lois Freisleben-Cook
7 doctors shared insights

Respiratory System (Definition)

The respiratory system consists of all organs in the body related to breathing including the nose, mouth, trachea and lungs. All four of these are ...Read more


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Why does a heroin overdose cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ards)?

Possible: Vomiting and aspiration can cause ARDS and is the most frequent cause in heroin od. Sometimes direct toxicity from adulterants in heroin can cause an acute lung injury. ...Read more

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How could a heroin overdose cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ards)?

Leak: Heroin itself, as well as the many substances used to "cut" the heroin (think of it like the drug dealer watering down the drink, only ts the heroin being diluted, usually with talk, but any white powder, even bleach) can all cause direct injury the lung's blood vessel and lining, resulting in leak of plasma and fluid into the lung. This is exactly what ARDS is, pulmonary edema from leaky vessels. ...Read more

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What actually causes death with a heroin overdose?

What actually causes death with a heroin overdose?

Two ways at least: I wish i had not seen this so often as a pathologist. Breathing may simply stop as a result of the drug. Or for some reason that we've not been able to figure out, the air spaces of the lungs suddenly fill with fluid. Foam gushes from the mouth and the user dies. I give families the comfort that witnesses to this event say it seems that the person does not suffer -- but who knows for sure? ...Read more

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What causes death in a heroin overdose?

What causes death in a heroin overdose?

Two ways: Suppression of the drive to breathe is the more familiar. For reasons we do not understand, pulmonary edema may come on very rapidly and kill the person with a sudden eruption of foam from the mouth and suffocation. Neither is painful, but i hope that neither is something that you want. Good luck, and if you have lost someone, you have my sympathy. ...Read more

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Is dying from a heroin overdose painful?

Is dying from a heroin overdose painful?

No.: One loses consciousness before death by overdose and heroin relieves pain and brings about euphoria, hence why it's abused despite a real and frequent risk of death. ...Read more

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What amount is a heroin overdose considered?

What amount is a heroin overdose considered?

Varies by tolerance: That amount which can suppress consciousness and breathing. ...Read more

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What are treatments following a heroin overdose?

What are treatments following a heroin overdose?

There are several: first and foremost, if an individual with overdose is breathing adequately, careful observation in a monitored setting (ICU, ER or telemetry unit) is necessary. If breathing is compromised, a narcotic antagonist such as naloxone or nalmefene can be given, but repeat doses or a continuous infusion may need to be given, since opioids may be longer acting than the antidote (20-30 minutes). ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
1 doctor shared a insight

Respiratory (Definition)

Pertaining to the work of breathing done by the chest ...Read more


Overdose (Definition)

When the maximum dose of medication ...Read more