Lydia Schatz would have been eight years old today, had she not died last month.
Her autopsy was released today. My heart is hurting, again.
On Tuesday (3/16/10), the autopsy results were released. The coroner’s report shows Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz’s 7 year old daughter died from Rhabdomyolsis.
The condition is a rapid breakdown of muscle tissue that releases by-products into the bloodstream, damaging the kidneys. Prosecutors say the girl’s parents repeatedly hit her with a plastic pipe as a form of punishment. The couple’s 11 year old daughter was also hospitalized with kidney damage but has since recovered.
In summary, rhabdomyolysis describes how Lydia’s body received repeated strikes to the point her muscle tissue started to break down. The body could not cope with the tissue breakdown.
The injured muscle cell leaks myoglobin (a protein) into the blood stream. Myoglobin can be directly toxic to kidney cells, and it can impair and clog the filtration system of the kidney. Both mechanisms can lead to kidney failure, which is the major complication of rhabdomyolysis.
Significant muscle injury can cause fluid and electrolyte shifts from the bloodstream into the damaged muscle cells, and in the other direction (from the damaged muscle cells into the bloodstream). As a result, dehydration may occur. Elevated levels of potassium in the bloodstream (hyperkalemia) may be associated with heart rhythm disturbances and sudden cardiac death due to ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.
Father, in heaven, have mercy.