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How Did Anna Garcia Die?

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by

Lexi Guffey

on 22 May 2015

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Transcript of How Did Anna Garcia Die?

Problems with Heart
Not only did Anna have problems with her kidneys as well as her spleen, she also had issues with her heart. Anna showed signs of left ventricular hypertrophy, which is when the left ventricle wall is enlarged due to high blood pressure, forcing it to have to pump harder in order to deliver blood to the body. She also experience mitral valve prolapse, which is when the mitral valve doesn't close properly, and lets some blood from the left ventricle travel back into the atrium. Both of these factors could have caused Anna's blood to not circulate as fast as it needed to, especially with her anemia, and could have contributed to her body not having enough oxygen. The oxygenated red blood cells weren't circuating fast enough, and without enough oxygen to function, Anna's organs evenly shut down, which led to her death.
Sickle Cell Disease
Diabetes
How Did She Die?
Anna Garcia died due to a blockage of sickle cells in her splenic artery, which caused blood to become trapped in her spleen. Since Anna's splenic atery was blocked, it caused sickled cells to build up in her spleen, causing splenic sequestration, which is when your spleen swells. Since Anna didn't get medical help, the swelling of her spleen led to its tissues dying from lack of oxygen, and eventually the rupture of her spleen. When her spleen ruptured, the hemorrhaging led to 500 mL of blood leaking into the abdominal cavity. Anna was already anemic, and this blood loss caused her other organs to not receive the oxygen they needed to function, which resulted in multiple organ failure, including her kidneys, which were already diseased from her UTI and diabetes. The rupturing of
Anna's spleen set off a chain reaction
of events that eventually led to her
untimely demise.
Infection
Only ten days before Anna died, she suffered from a urinary tract infection. This infection most likely occurred due to her weakened immune system, because the sickled red blood cells in her body couldn't reach the site of the infection fast enough to fight the bacteria. This infection was treated with antibiotics. The infection affected the urinary system, because it traveled to and infected Anna's kidneys, which infected them and partially contributed to her death. On Anna's autopsy report, it stated that her left kidney showed signs of necrosis, which means that its tissues were dying, possibly from oxygen deprivation as well as an infection. When Anna died, she also showed many signs of kidney infection, such as vomiting and abdominal pain.
Symptoms
Factors
Anna was overweight
Anna lived alone
If she hadn't lived alone, someone could have helped her
Anna didn't manage her diabetes
Anna didn't exercise
Anna had an abnormally high heart rate
The main factor leading up to Anna's death was her sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is when the red blood cells in the body are crescent shaped instead of round, which causes them to become easily trapped in the body's blood vessels. Sickle cells in Anna's body collected in and blocked her splenic artery, causing blood to be trapped in her spleen, and preventing oxygenated blood from entering the spleen. Her spleen became overflowed with sickle cells, and that caused splenic sequestration, which is when the spleen becomes enlarged. When Anna's spleen continued to not recieve oxygen, its tissues started to die, and it eventually burst. When Anna's spleen burst, it caused 500 mL of blood to leak into her abdominal cavity, worsening the anemia Anna already faced. The internal bleeding alone was very damaging to Anna's health, and since it severely reduced the amount of blood circulation in her body, it caused many of her other organs to become deprived of oxygen. For example, her kidneys, which were already not healthy, were deprived of oxygen which caused them to stop working.
While diabetes didn't contribute to Anna's spleen, it caused her to have issues with her kidneys, which was a contributing factor to her death. When there is excess glucose in the blood, its harder for the kidneys to filter it, which can eventually cause them to slow down or fail. Anna ate a diet high in sugar, which damaged her kidneys significantly. After she died, the autopsy showed that she had a high protein count in her urine, which is a sign of kidney failure, her kidneys showed signs of necrosis, and she vomited, which is also a sign of kidney failure. When Anna's spleen ruptured, it caused the body to become severely anemic, which would have caused even more damage to her kidneys, and possibly caused them to shut down completely. The failure of Anna's kidneys as a result of anemia due to splenic rupture was definitely a contributing factor to her death.
Body Systems
Cardiovascular/Circulatory: Anna's problems with her heart would have slowed down the delivery of oxygen, and when her body became severely anemic from her ruptured spleen, it could have caused her heart to stop.
Immune: Sickle cell disease reduces the effectiveness of the immune system, which caused Anna to be more susceptible to infections (UTI), and therefore kidney problems. The Spleen also produces someimmune cells, so when it ruptured, the spleen lost its ability to produce those.
Respiratory: When Anna's body lost many of it's red blood cells, the respiratory system was all but useless at delivering oxygen to the body.
Nervous: The Nervous system also needs oxygen to function, nd when Anna's body was suffering from anemia, it caused many nerves and brain tissue to die from de-oxygenation, which could also have contributed to her death.
Digestive: This system was also affected from anemia, since it can't function without oxygen, and her body wasn't recieveing enough, which causes the tissues to become necrotic.
Urinary: Anna's kidneys were already damaged from her UTI and diabetes, so when they stopped receiving oxygen, they shut down, which could have been part of what led to her death as well.
Long Term Methods
Anna could have had her spleen removed when she was 14 months old, and showed signs of splenic sequestration
Anna could have eaten a healthy diet, which would have helped her heart and kidney problems.
Anna could have exercised frequently, which would have helped her maintain a healthy weight and lower her heart rate and blood pressure, which would have helped her heart problems.
Short Term Methods
Anna could have gotten medical help as soon as she felt abdominal pain
Anna could have avoided eating a meal so high in sugar, like the one she ate the night before she died
Anna could have taken a blood thinning medication when she showed signs of splenic sequestration
Anna had hypertension
Anna had shown signs of
splenic sequestration
Anna had high cholesterol
Anna recently had a UTI
Anna had PVCs
Anna had frequent sickle cell
crisis
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