alert, O’Mara said. In the case of an antidepressant
overdose, for example, a patient might be sitting and talking
with a doctor, then die the next minute.”
Conscious overdose victims not uncommon
It may seem strange that Christopher Kelly would be talking
coherently, then die several hours later, but Oak Forest Hospital physician
Srinivas Jolepalem said it’s rather common in overdose cases.
say someone’s stable just because they’re sitting up. That’s not the criteria
they would use to figure out his condition,” said Jolepalem, who was not on duty
the night of the incident. “Once a toxin is absorbed, and it goes to the kidney
and brain, many things might start happening. The person would have difficulty
breathing and can become comatose then die from kidney failure or brain damage.”
Depending how much of the substance the person ingested and how strong
their body is, it can take up to several hours for this to happen.
Michael O’Mara, chairman of the emergency department at Little Company of Mary
Hospital in Evergreen Park, said some drugs work quickly while others might take
several days to kill a person.
It’s not unusual Kelly was alert, O’Mara
said. In the case of an antidepressant overdose, for example, a patient might be
sitting and talking with a doctor, then die the next minute.