Volume 37, Issue 5 (September 1992)
Sudden Death Due to Intravascular Hemolysis After Bladder Irrigation with Distilled Water
A 45-year-old white man was hospitalized with gross hematuria, one month after cystoscopy and biopsy for the same complaint. The biopsy revealed cystitis glandularis. One day after admission, he developed seizures and died within hours. Autopsy, laboratory tests, and further questioning of the hospital staff showed that he died of acute hyponatremia and massive intravascular hemolysis after irrigating the bladder with sterile water. Two deep bladder ulcers with exposed veins served as the portals of entry. Until now, this fatal complication had been described only during transurethral surgery. Both a careful autopsy and hospital investigation is necessary to differentiate in-hospital natural death from iatrogenic fatality.