Testing It Up

Final Autopsy Report on Whitney Houston’s Death Released

The final autopsy report on the death of Grammy Award-winning singer Whitney Houston has been released, and her death has been ruled as accidental drowning.

The “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use” were contributing factors to her death, information that has already been shared when the results of toxicology tests were released.

Coroner’s investigator Kristy McCracken wrote that investigators found “a small spoon with a white crystal like substance in it and a rolled up piece of white paper” in the bathroom where the singer was found unresponsive. McCracken wrote further that “remnants of a white powdery substance” were found on a bathroom counter, a drawer, and the bottom of a mirror in the same drawer in the bathroom counter.

In addition, detectives found bottles of various medications, although these prescription drugs, the coroner said, did not contribute to Ms. Houston’s death.

Toxicology tests found 0.58 micrograms of cocaine per milliliter of blood which was drawn from a vein in Ms. Houston’s leg during the autopsy. Addiction medicine specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky described this amount of cocaine as “moderate.” Chief Coroner Craig Harvey, on the other hand, revealed that Whitney may have used cocaine “in the time period just immediately prior to her collapse in the bathtub at the hotel.”

Other substances found in her body were marijuana, Xanax, Flexeril, and Benadryl.

The final autopsy report indicated that Ms. Houston had drowned face down in a tub of “extremely hot water” about 12 inches deep. The coroner’s report indicated that she had suffered several small scald burns on her face at the time of her death.

Dr. Pinsky shared that the report suggested that the singer may have suffered a seizure due to cocaine use, combined with withdrawal from alcohol and a prescription sedative.

April 5, 2012 at 12:15 am Comments (0)

Cause of Whitney Houston’s Death Revealed

The cause of the sudden death of Grammy-award winning singer Whitney Houston, who died on February 11 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammy Awards, has been revealed, after the release of toxicology results. A full autopsy report is expected to be released in two weeks.

Chicago Sun-Times shared that Ms. Houston died from drowning in the bathtub of the hotel where she was found, but coroner’s officials revealed further that heart disease and chronic use of cocaine contributed to her death.

Craig Harvey, Coroner’s Chief of Operations, revealed that based on toxicology results, cocaine and its by-products were found in Ms. Houston’s system. He shared further that the toxicology results were indicative of the fact that the Grammy-winning singer was a chronic cocaine user. The toxicology results also showed the following substances in her system: marijuana, Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril, and the allergy medication Benadryl in her system.

The coroner’s office also revealed that Ms. Houston was suffering from heart disease, which caused blockages in her arteries.

Whitney Houston died a few hours before she was scheduled to perform at the pre-Grammy Awards bash of producer Clive Davis. She was found submerged in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hills Hotel; several bottles of prescription medication were found in her hotel room, but coroner’s officials said that the amounts that were discovered were not excessive.

Patricia Houston, sister-in-law and manager of the late singer, gave the following statement in the wake of the release of the autopsy findings that confirmed a link between drug use and Whitney Houston’s death: “We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure.”

March 24, 2012 at 8:18 am Comments (0)

Investigations Into Death of Singer Whitney Houston Wrapping Up

The investigation into the sudden and untimely death of Whitney Houston is nearing its end, as investigators complete the logistical part of their inquiry into the circumstances surrounding her passing.

According to CNN, investigators have contacted all physicians and pharmacies associated with the late singer, and so far, they have uncovered nothing criminal in nature.

Authorities said, however, that the review of additional medical information that will be used in the final ruling on the cause of Ms. Houston’s death is still going on. The estimated completion date of the toxicology tests, on the other hand, is “on or around March 23rd.”

In addition to physicians and pharmacies, investigators also got in touch with Whitney Houston’s relatives. They are said to be trying to speak with her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, as well, although it was unsure as to whether the 18-year-old will consent to an interview. She had been questioned briefly by Beverly Hills police on the day of her mother’s death, but she was understandably too upset at the time to offer any helpful information.

Houston passed away on February 11, in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. During that time the Los Angeles Coroner’s office said that her body had no visible signs of trauma, and that they were not suspecting foul play. They also downplayed speculation that the singer had overdosed, with Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter saying that “not many prescription bottles” were found in her hotel room.

March 12, 2012 at 4:52 am Comment (1)

Investigation into Whitney Houston’s Death May Include Her Doctors

The investigation into the tragic and shocking death of music icon Whitney Houston will most likely include the doctors who prescribed her medications. The investigation will also look into whether she as being dispensed with “unusually large amounts of drugs.”

Sources from law enforcement revealed to the LA Times that several bottles of medications were collected from the late singer’s suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

It was made clear, however, that the amount of drugs found in Ms. Houston’s hotel room could not be described as “unusually large,” so the question as to whether these drugs may have played a role in her death will remain unanswered, at least for now.

Results of the toxicology tests performed on Ms. Houston’s remains will not be available for weeks. It will show what medications or substances the late singer took, and when she took them.

The investigation will include a comparison between the amounts of prescription drugs retrieved from Ms. Houston’s hotel room, the amount of medication that was dispensed, when it was filled, who filled it, and which doctor or doctors prescribed them. These will then be compared against the prescription history of one or more doctors who treated the late singer.

Ellyn Garofalo, a defense attorney who won an acquittal for a doctor charged with overprescribing drugs to Anna Nicole Smith, shared that “a single doctor prescribing really enormous amounts of medication” will trigger a red flag.

Investigators are also expected to talk to Ms. Houston’s medical team regarding any underlying health conditions that she might have had.

February 16, 2012 at 4:59 am Comments (0)