Saturday, September 06, 2008

Water intoxication vs. seizures

A 42-year-old woman whose blood-smeared body was found in her condominium died of a lack of electrolytes caused by drinking a large amount of water, the Macomb County medical examiner ruled.

Andrea Bean was found dead July 29 in her Macomb Township condo. She had suffered from an undisclosed mental condition that caused her to consume large amounts of water to the point that it killed her, said Dr. Mark Spitz, the county medical examiner.

"It can cause seizures and death," he said.

The condition is something Bean had dealt with previously, Spitz said. Water intoxication can occur in people with mental illness, according to the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

"The condition may go unrecognized in the early stages, when the patient may have symptoms of confusion, disorientation, nausea and vomiting, but also changes in mental state and psychotic symptoms," the article states.

"Early detection is crucial to prevent severe hyponatraemia, which can lead to seizures, coma, and death."

Although the blood that was smeared on Bean and the walls near where her body was found is being tested, investigators believe it is hers.

"We do believe it was hers from some prior issue or incident that had nothing to do with any assault or injuries," Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said.

Spitz said the blood did not appear to play a role in Bean's death.

"I don't think the blood at the scene has anything much to do with her death," he said. Spitz had previously determined there was no foul play involved in Bean's death.

Spitz said police would investigate the blood's origin, not his office.

"It would be nice to know where the blood came from," he said.

Hackel said his investigators have sent blood samples taken from the condo to the Michigan State Police crime lab and are waiting for the results.

Bean is survived by three children and her former husband, who had custody of the children.

You can reach Santiago Esparza at (313) 222-2127 or


Post a Comment

<< Home