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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Cause of Death: Acute and Necrosis Secondary to Hypertension

 Cookie - Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:43 pm

My grandmother who was 90 years old recently passed away. I received her death certificate and I am very confused. From what I know of her condition, she had high blood pressure which was under control and congestive heart failure which was getting progressively worse. When she went to the hospital the last admission, she was sent because her lower abdomen was swollen and my sister thought that her urinary catheter was blocked and she had no urinary output. My grandmother was in severe pain. The surgeon called and said that an immediate exploratory was necessary as he suspected a blocked intestine. She came out of the surgery and the surgeon said she was fine and would probably go home in five days ( the intestines weren't blocked- she was impacted). The next day when I visited, I noticed that there was not any output in the catheter bag. The surgeon said she was fine. Shortly after the hospital called me at home and she was put on a ventilator because of fluid around the heart(?) She passed away the following day after having some heart rhythm problems. My question has to do with the cause of death on her death certificate. Number one is Acute and Necrosis Secondary to Hypertension and COPD. I am doing genealogy on the family and forty years from now someone will be puzzled as to what in the world she died of. What is Acute and Necrosis? I would like to put it in terms someone in the future can understand. Thank you for your help. Cookie
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Tue Apr 08, 2003 9:52 pm

User avatar Dear Cookie,

i do not know either what is meant by "acute and necrosis secondary to hypertension and copd".

This sounds more or less like a typo or incorrect sequence of events on the death certificate. Death certificates could be confusing sometimes because of the presence of 2-3 lines that mention the immediate cause of death and the condition(s) leading to it and sometimes the sequence of events seems confusing.

You can call the doctor who wrote the death certificate and ask him about that.

Thank you very much for using our website

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 n_s_raj - Wed May 21, 2003 9:15 pm

I am not a doctor. I am a student for Echocardiography. Necrosis means:
<pathology> The sum of the morphological changes indicative of cell death and caused by the progressive degradative action of enzymes, it may affect groups of cells or part of a structure or an organ.

Origin: Gr. Nekrosis = deadness
We had the term in Clinical Assessment. As a man with limited knowledge, I would think that the death of the myocardial wall in the LV will back up the pressures to the lungs and can cause COPD. That could be the reason they are mentioning.
Pardon me if I am wrong. I am still in the process of learning.
 Anonymous - Thu May 22, 2003 6:38 am

Thank you for your explanation on necrosis and increasing pressure in the lungs. I appreciate your kindness in responding to my query.
God Bless and Take Care,

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