Brittany Murphy Had a 1% Chance of Dying Of Pneumonia If Her Husband & Mom Had Only Taken Her To The Hospital! Say Top Docs

Thu, February 4, 2010 5:09pm EDT by 4 Comments
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Getty Images

Brittany Murphy, like any healthy 32 year-old  SHOULD NOT  have died from either the pneumonia or anemia she was suffering from, nor from the drugs she ingested,  say top docs that Hollywoodlife.com interviewed.

Brittany Murphy’s death was caused by “pneumonia, with prescription drugs and anemia also playing a role,” according to a Coroner’s report released Feb. 4.  Furthermore, the young actress’s tragic death was accidental and likely could have been prevented if she had been taken to a doctor, said Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter .
“If Brittany had community-acquired pneumonia, and had been treated with effective antibiotics within 24-48 hours of feeling ill, the likelihood of her dying would have been [around] 1%,” Dr. Brad Spellberg, associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at Harbor-UCLA’s Medical center, explained to HollywoodLife.com.

In other words,  it’s even MORE TRAGIC that  Brittany died. She would have had a 99 % chance of living if either her husband Simon Monjack or  her live-in mother Sharon Murphy, had  insisted on her seeing a doctor  when she was suffering from the “flulike symptoms,” that they described her having in the days before she died.

In fact doctors have told Hollywoodlife.com that it is extraordinarily unusual for 32 year-olds to die from pneumonia, even if they are sick with the disease for weeks “Young people have a lot of reserves. They don’t just collapse from pneumonia — there is no such thing as a sudden death from pneumonia, ” explains Dr. Robert  J. Bos.  ” She would have had to have had ample symptoms — shortness of breath, chills and she would have looked very ill — to have been obviously in distress and to have indicated that she should have been taken to a hospital. This is a disease  we can treat.”

According to the Coroner’s report, Brittany also showed low levels of iron — but even profound anemia wouldn’t have been a cause of death according to either Dr. Spellberg or Dr. Bos. “It’s actually ironic — most organisms that cause this infection need iron to survive,” explained, Dr. Spellberg.

Toxicology reports have not yet been released, so the exact drugs in Brittany’s system at the time of her death are unknown. However, Simon claims Brittany wasn’t taking non-prescribed medicine or drugs.

Both Dr. Bos and Dr. Spellberg believe there was some other factor in play that could have been the true culprit in her death. “Nothing here explains death, ” says Dr. Bos. Could it have been drugs? Toxicology reports have not yet been released, so the exact drugs in Brittany’s system at the time of her death are unknown. However, Simon claims Brittany wasn’t taking non-prescribed medicine or drugs.

In the absence of that information, both doctors speculated that some incident, most probably Brittany throwing up in the bathroom and then inhaling or aspirating the the vomit into her lungs, could have caused a heart arrhythmia, which could definitely have led to heart failure.   If you get something into your lungs, and you can’t breathe, oxygen doesn’t get to the heart and you experience an arrhythmia, explains Dr. Bos.

Brittany’s mom found her on her bathroom floor unresponsive, about 30 mins after the actress went in there on a Sunday morning.

Since information on what types of drugs were involved in her death won’t be released for several weeks, Hollywoodlife.com expects, there is at least one more bombshell to come.

Bonnie Fuller and Kirstin Benson

Speculation will continue around the investigation until the toxicology report is released late-February.

Read More About Brittany Murphy

  1. Brittany Murphy’s Heartbroken Husband Simon Monjack Speaks Out On Her Death: ‘She Died In My Arms’
  2. Brittany Murphy: She Wasn’t on Drugs, She Was “Afraid of Death”
  3. Brittany Murphy’s Prescription Drugs — What Celeb Tragedies They’ve Been Linked to Before