Actor Corey Haim Dies at 38 of Pulmonary Congestion
Actor Corey Haim, best known as teen heartthrob in the 1980’s and in movies such as “The Lost Boys” has died at age 38 at his mother’s home in North Hollywood. An autopsy was performed by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, which has not yet been made official, but Judy Haim says that her son’s death was due to pulmonary congestion.
Early in the morning, on Wednesday March 10, Haim apparently collapsed after getting out of bed. He was taken by paramedics to Burbank’s Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.
Four prescription medications were found in Haim’s room. He had been suffering from flu-like symptoms and had a high fever in the days before his death. Although the actor’s past troubles with addiction to cocaine and valium is well-known, none of the medications were considered illicit drugs.
Pulmonary congestion, or pulmonary edema, is an abnormal build up of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs that leads to shortness of breath, cough, sweating, pale skin and restlessness. A symptom called paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea can also occur, which is a feeling of drowning occurring suddenly and causing an awakening from sleep. Ms. Haim says that her son had gotten up out of bed sometime after midnight complaining of shortness of breath shortly before calling the ambulance.
Pulmonary edema is most often caused by heart failure. Mr. Haim was also found to have an enlarged heart at autopsy and his former fiancée confirmed to PEOPLE magazine that the actor had long suffered from heart problems that were not treated. Pulmonary edema can also be caused by a severe infection or as a side effect to medication.
Patients with pulmonary edema need to be treated immediately with oxygen and the cause of the condition found and treated. If blood and oxygen flow are not restored, damage to other major organs can occur rapidly and become fatal.
Corey Haim is, unfortunately, another young man to leave us too soon with a condition that possibly could have been prevented with proper medical attention.