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bethkaysmom

insulin overdoseas suicide attempt

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Hi, I hope that someone can shed some light on this for me. My brother in law is in the hospital, today it's been 1 week. He attempted suicide -in his room they found insulin, needles and a few other things. When they tested him for substances in his body they found ,cocaine,marijuana,opiates,and nerve pills. When I found him he had white foam running from his nose all the way down his face and in the back of his throat. His mother is a diabetic and is on mumerous medications. This is how he had access to some of the medications. She immediately began giving him oxygen and I called 911. When they arrived he was still unconscious and remains that way still today .The doctor;s have ran 2 cat scans and say that he is not brain dead however he still hasn't woke up. At one time they told my mother in law that it must be from the insulin that is keeping him unconscious. However they checked him at home and at the hospital and said that his blood sugar levels were normal. Iam extremely confused. Last night my mother in law salled to see if there were any changes and his charge nurse told her no. She also told the nurse that they had done another cat scan and there was no brain death .The nurse then told my mother in law that there was no way to tell with a cat scan or mri. Do you think the doctor is just telling us this to give us hope or what ? Does anyone know what may be going on? Please help me understand I feel like we are being led in too many different directions. The doctor's called us Saturday and wanted us to come to the hospital to decide what we were going to do as far as treatment because he said at that point he felt that he may have a heart attack and wanted to know if we wanted them to help him if he did. To me it sounds like they believe he is already dead. Any help would be greatly appreciated . Advance thanks.

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I wish I had answers for you; but all I can offer is empathy and prayers. Life can be very hard. My father had emphysema and his medicine would become out of balance too often. When it did he would request that we help him die. It was the hardest thing I'd ever been through. All's I could do was pray and cry. I did plenty of both.

 

Try to keep your chin up and I'll add my thoughts and prayers.

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With that mixture of deadly drugs it is possible to be in a long term coma. Basically they shut down certain functions of the body and until some of them wear off the body wants to stay in rest. If he is still showing brain activity, then it should be very hopeful that he will come out of it. As for when, that's unknown.

 

As for the insulin causing anything. Unless he injected an entire vial, that's a mute point. From my understanding is if a non-diabetic injects insulin, their pancreas just won't produce any during the time the insulin is in effect. If they inject too much, their pancreas will shut off for that period and then their liver will dump glucose into the blood stream to counteract it. How much the body can take, I really have no idea.

 

I would remain hopeful that he'll come out alright. And then I hope he can get the treatment he needs so he can lead a great life. Sorry this is happening to you, if you need anything else, just ask.

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I'm sorry that this is happening to your family.:frown:

I do know that there are tests and procedures that can be done to measure brain activity. My best friend was in an automobile accident around 12 years ago and they did all sorts of tests before deciding there was no brain activity. If you have any doubt, don't be afraid to ask for a 2nd or even 3rd opinion.

I hope things turn out ok. I will say a prayer for him and your family every day.

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If your brother is not brain dead as the DR says then I see some hope. Remember it's ultimately up to the family of what type of care should be continued. I say keep hoping and praying! Good luck and please keep us all updated. Sorry I can't add any other info regarding what he took.

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I am very sorry to hear of your family's situation. I do know that brain death is not determined by a CT (CAT) scan. This will only show swelling, tumors, lesions, etc. One of the main determinants of brain activity / brain death is a test called an EEG (electroencephalogram). This shows brain activity, slowing, underlying seizure activity, and lack of brain activity. I would insist upon this test as well as a full evaluation from a neurologist to aid in his treatment and prognosis.

 

I wish your family all the best during this difficult time.

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I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Generally, doctors will not lie to "give hope" to families. It is usual for them to give you all of the possible scenerios and then just wait.

 

Proud Mom is correct in that an EEG is done to determine brain activity. I would ask the doctor if that WAS the test that was done.

 

Good luck and wishes,

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I am truly sorry for your situation. I have been in the position before of not knowing truly what was going on with what the Dr were trying to say. My Mom was in the hospital and she had a history of respriatory distress. She had a spell and the nurse said she was hyperventlating. I told her that she had a history of rd (which she should have known as it was on her chart and she was her nurse). That was the last time I saw my Mom looking at me as they were wheeling down to ICU. They worked on her over an hour before the Doctor came out to tell us that she was breathing on ventalator and had no brain activity. He told us "I brought her back, what did you want me to do" His next words were "You have to decide to take her off life support or not" So I know what you feel about confusion. Just be sure to ask questions and don't be afraid to hurt feelings if you have to get them. Some Docs think they are God or close to it. So try to be strong and I will sure keep you in my prayers.

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If they inject too much, their pancreas will shut off for that period and then their liver will dump glucose into the blood stream to counteract it.

 

The liver knows to dump glucose when insulin levels are low (because it normally follows that glucose levels should also be low.) It doesn't know about glucose levels directly, though. Also, if you've used up your store of hepatic glucose, you have to replenish it before it will work again. This is why glucagon sometimes won't work. Still, if a nondiabetic had injected too much insulin, it would show up as low blood sugar.

 

Best wishes to you and your family, bethkaysmom.

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I'm really sorry to hear about your situation and hope that things improve for you and your brother in law.

 

this is how they determine brain stem death

 

How do they know if your brain stem has died

 

The tests used to determine brain stem death are simple but conclusive. They will only be carried out after doctors have established that the patient has suffered irreversible brain damage.

 

Before the tests are started checks are made to make sure that any factors which might affect the tests such as drugs or an extremely low body temperature have been eliminated.

 

The tests are done at the patient's bedside. First of all, a torch is shone into both eyes to see if the pupils react to the light. Then the cornea, which is normally ultra-sensitive, is stroked with a tissue or cotton wool. Next, painful pressure is applied to the forehead and the nose is pinched. Ice-cold water is then syringed into each ear in turn, which would normally cause eye movement. A tube is then inserted down the patient's throat to provoke a gagging or coughing response.

 

Finally, and most importantly, conditions are created which allow the patient to be removed from the ventilator for a short period of about ten minutes to see if they show any sign of attempting to breathe on their own. Patients who are brain stem dead will not react in any way to any of the tests.

 

This group of tests is carried out twice, at separate times. They are done by two senior doctors with special expertise in this area, neither of whom must be a member of the transplant team.

 

If the second set of tests confirms no evidence of brain stem activity the patient is declared dead.

 

The standards for certifying death by brain stem death are strict and are accepted medically, legally and ethically in the UK and in most other countries in the world.

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I'm sorry to hear what happened and I wish I could help. Good luck and ask the doctors to give to you all straight so you can make the best care decisions for him.

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I too am very sorry to hear about your situation. I have been though similar situations and know how crappy it can be, keep up hope and love. Believe me you will get htought it!

 

 

As for your brothers situation, I think the best thing to do would be to ask the dr's to be more specific. Tell them you are confused by what they are saying and don't be intimidated by them - they're just people! It sounds like your brother is just in a coma as a 'protective' measure... As in his body has shutdown to the outside world to fix what's going on on the inside... I'm not sure if that makes sence, but all the best, my best wishes are with you.

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