Medical Examiner: Intestinal Blockage Killed Maurice Gibb
Posted: 2:54 p.m. EST January 16, 2003
Updated: 3:30 p.m. EST January 16, 2003
-- Maurice Gibb died of an intestinal blockage, according to an autopsy report released on Thursday.
The official cause of death is listed as "ischemic enteropathy due to a midgut volvulus due to a congenital malrotation of the small intestine."
In layman's terms, the blood supply to Gibb's intestines was cut off by a twist in his intestine that he probably had since birth.
According to medical experts, volvulus is a malrotation or twisting of the intestine that can also twist major blood vessels in the area. If the blood vessels twist, it can cause a loss of blood flow (ischemia). The loss of blood flow can cause serious tissue damage to other organs. Also, when the blood supply in the abdomen´s major arteries is cut off, blood flow to the heart and cardiac output decrease, leading to potentially deadly blood pressure and cardiac responses.
A volvulus most commonly occurs in the small intestine, the cecum, or the sigmoid colon. A volvulus can be the result of an anomaly that is present at birth. Another cause can be the looping of part of the intestine around an adhesion, a scar left by inflammation or surgery.
Chief Medical Examiner Bruce Hyma's report indicated that Gibb's intestinal blockage was as the result of a congenital malrotation -- meaning that the problem was present when he was born.
The Bee Gees star passed away at Mount Sinai Medical Center on Sunday. His brothers Barry and Robin said that they want a full investigation of Maurice's care and death at Mount Sinai. The hospital is reportedly helping with the investigation.
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