The rumors are flying about the cause of Prince’s death and we in no way want to contribute to that and add to the sensationalism of the story out there. Autopsy results are not expected to be released until next week which may give a little clearer picture.
Until then, I think the thing we can take away from this tragedy, if indeed it was an overdose of the Percocet for his chronic hip pain, the danger of drugs even when they are legal and prescribed by a “qualified” doctor.
With no obvious signs of trauma to the body and nothing to indicate suicide, Prince’s surprise death looks likely to have been the result of a drug overdose, an expert said Saturday.
“I would give overwhelming odds that, tragically, this is a drug death,” Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist who is not involved in Prince’s case, told NBC’s TODAY.
“When you rule out foul play, when there is no history of any kind of significant disease … heart and lung … when you rule out any kind of intervention, anything of an environmental nature, you come down to an autopsy that is essentially negative … and that probably means drugs,” added Wecht, whose worked on some of the nation’s most high-profile autopsies.
He said the emergency landing of the singer’s private jet last week for a medical reason “fits into the drug picture.”
“I cannot think of any medical or pathological condition that fits that kind of scenario, with incredible ups and downs … other than drugs,” he added. The death was “most regrettable,” Wecht said.
Staff became concerned when they could not get in touch with Prince the next morning, and went to the residence to look for him. They found him “collapsed” in an elevator and called first responders who began CPR on Prince but were unable to revive him, Olson, Carver Co. Sheriff, said.
The exact time of Prince’s death is pending, said Martha Weaver, a public information officer for the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.
The call to police was made at around 9:43 a.m. and the sheriff’s office, fire department and an ambulance responded, which is “standard protocol,” Olson said. He said some of the responders were carrying Narcan, a drug used as an antidote for drug overdoses, but did not use it.
Olson said it appears only Prince was at the estate at the time of his death, but when police arrived three staff members were at the scene. “Prince is a very private person, and I don’t think that that would be unusual for him to be there by himself,” Olson said.
The mood when police arrived was “somber,” Olson said. “He was a friend, I think, to the people who were there as well as being an employer. They were certainly shook by what had happened.”
Olson added that no medical calls came from Paisley Park regarding Prince within the past year.
Olson reiterated several times that the investigation into the sudden death of Prince was only 29 hours old, and much was unknown. He said investigators had processed the scene and would talk to people who were close to the music legend and gather medical records.
Prince’s family has been cooperative in the investigation, which will be “meticulous,” Olson said.
The singer had taken so many Percocet pills last Friday that he had to be given a ‘save shot’ after his private plane made an emergency landing so he could be rushed to hospital, sources close to the artist claimed.
Prince is not the only celebrity to have been linked to the highly addictive prescription painkiller Percocet, which he is said to have overdosed on just a week before his death.
Stars including Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and R n B singer Gerald Levert all took the drug – with fatal consequences.
The drug is a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone and is used to treat acute pain, often for those with joint problems. But anyone who takes it for more than a couple of weeks risks developing a physical dependency to the opiate oxycodone, which is also found in Percodan and OxyContin.
It is extremely easy to overdose on the drug just by taking more than two Percocet pills at once, especially if the immune system is low, according to most doctors. Over time, lower doses of Percocet can also cause permanent liver damage.
An investigation into Prince’s alleged overdose of Percocet has since been launched and police say they want to speak to the singer’s friends, staff and flight crew who were all on board his Atlanta bound flight last Friday. Police are looking into if he was prescribed too much of the drug and it was not properly monitored.’