Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

Can too much IV antibiotics side effects cause my mom died?

Posted by

Please forgive me for English is not my first language, and my long post, I want to explain the whole situation.

Basically my mother died 2 days (48 hours) after discharged from the hospital, and I don't know if the 4 antibiotics they gave her in IV might cause her heart to not pump enough oxygen and died.

What happened was, long story short, my mother has end stage cancer (stage 4 when we found out), metastatic pancreas, lungs, brain, lymph nodes, adrenal glands, bones.

She went through a delirium phase. After the delirium phase. She entered the sleep all day (except when eat banana or drink water), bedbound (can't even walk or stand), had a bed sore. She was super super weak. She wasn't able to be mobile anymore.

Then it seem like she enter the "end stage of life" phase, as she no longer speak to us, no longer can eat something as yogurt, and no long drink water out of the straw we gave her. She was basically not conscious much, only responding to pain. So comatose.

Me and my brother take care of her. My brother said he think it "end stage of life" phase, let it run it course, my brother know her wish to die at home.

Me? I got panic due to she no longer sip water, so I call ambulance to take her to hospital. They saw her comatose status, draw blood, super high white blood count, fever, fast heart rate. Basically the hospital "suspect" she has sepsis. They gave her 2 different antibiotics then draw her blood for blood culture. Basically, even with "suspect" of sepsis, they still have to give her antibiotics, they can't wait 24 hours for blood culture growth result.

Anyways, she hook on IV fluids. Beside cancer in panceas, and brain. X-ray show her lungs beside the cancer tumor, but also something look like pneumona. So they offer her 2 more antibiotics to treat pneumonia. One of the antibiotics was Azthromycin (which after my mother death I research and found out this antibiotics can cause cardiac arrest).

So 2 days in hospital, blood culture growth show nothing, NO growth, so they stop the sepsis and pneumonia antibiotics. And discharged my mother home. They said at her stage 4, it best to keep her comfy, they expect she only has "weeks" left.

We took her home, nothing improve, she still doesn't drink any water at.all. Not even a drop, her mouth just close. Same comatose stage, didn't say a word to us. It hurts me so much because she couldn't talk, she couldn't tell me where her pain was. I understand it normal once cancer get to the brain you become unconcious/confuse like this, and no longer speak.

Fast forward, another 2 days pass (so 48 hours later since we took her home from hospital). On the day she die (her last 24 hours), she was cry out  (can't talk, but scream perhaps in pain?). Then a bit later I started to hear the "death rattle". Then later I saw the bottom of her feet turn blue, her nails also her blue, her lips also turn blue. Basically the signs that oxygen is not pumping in her body.

Then like an hour or two later, she strongly gasp for her last breath. And GONE. Without say a word to us, or even recognized us.

That was it, my mother forever leave me and my brother. She was 85, and hospital weight her she was close to 6.5 stone in weight (cancer eat her so much).

I BLAME myself so much that it me take her to the hospital and they gave her alot of antibiotics and it might cause her to die (faster?), due to antibiotics side effects.

Can it be the antibiotics side effects that cause my mom to die 48 hours after discharge from hospital? Beside the ongoing stage 4 cancer, the doctor in hospital think she was in stable condition to be discharged. I understand that. 

But I keep thinking the Azithromycin side effects that cause my mother death.

My brother said she was at her "end stage of life" phase, and her times has comes. I guess because her nails, lips turn blue, due to oxygen not get to her body, and the "death rattle". I keep thinking the antibiotics might has something to do with it.

Perhaps I'm just overthinking.

Please give me your enlightening, can it be the antibiotics?

Posted by

I’m so sorry for the loss of your Mum and the trauma you have been through. It sounds as if you were a pillar of strength for your Mother, and, although I’m no expert, I tend to agree with your brother that your Mum was at the end of life and nothing else you could have done would have prolonged her life. 

Please know you have nothing to feel guilty about, you did an excellent job of supporting and loving your Mum which will have helped her hugely, despite how it may otherwise seem. She is at peace now. Take care of yourself and please keep talking if you need to x

Posted by

Thank you Ms. Hope_29 for your kind words.

Posted by

Hey, I am really sorry what you have gone through and I am sorry about your loss of your mum