Charlie’s cause of death

Thursday marked the 90-day mark from when Charlie died, on February 19th.  The Contra Costa County Coroner told us that a typical autopsy and final report on cause of death would take 60-90 days.  Then last month they warned the number of deaths was high, and there’s only one pathologist working on all these, so it could take even longer.  But we got the call on Friday afternoon, on Day 91, that the cause of death was now known.

Charlie’s official cause of death is Sudden Cardiorespiratory Arrest due to Bronchopulmonary dysplasia due to Prematurity.  Essentially his heart stopped suddenly because of his chronic lung disease, or underdeveloped lungs.  I’m still unclear whether I could have done something faster or different to save him.

Deputy Wong, the inspector for our case from the Coroner’s office, said there’s a lot more information in the report from the pathologist and we could get a copy of the report in about two weeks.  For now we’re going to bone up on exactly what this means.

When we get the report, we’ll likely try and setup time with the Neonatologists at Walnut Creek to see if they can break it down in laymens terms for us.  They may learn something from it as well that can help future babies in a similar situation.

This is the start of process of understanding this all. On the one hand, I’m glad they were able to pinpoint something.  We were somewhat expecting a generic “SIDS” classification, which wouldn’t really explain much.  On the other hand, I’m now concerned on what this may mean for Jacob and Samuel, and if they may be susceptible to anything.


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