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Cops and Courts

Medical examiner says Cleveland police officer died of multisystem organ failure

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Cleveland Police Officer Vu Nguyen, 50, of Avon, died of multisystem organ failure, according to information released by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner on Tuesday.

Nguyen died July 6 after collapsing during a police training exercise at Burke Lakefront Airport less than a week prior. He was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland on July 2, then transferred to the Cleveland Clinic on July 5, where he died the following day.

The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death an accident, caused by multisystem organ failure due to rhabdomyolysis, which is the breakdown of muscle tissue leading to the release of muscle fibers into the blood. This can reportedly cause kidney damage, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Nguyen’s condition was listed as being caused by physical exertion after recently using an unspecified dietary supplement.

The Medical Examiner’s Office could not identify the supplement Nguyen had used, the amount or its ingredients, according to Christopher Harris, external affairs manager for the Medical Examiner’s Office. He said the examiner’s ruling was based on reports and records received by the office, which did not include any further information on the type of supplement.

Before the incident, Nguyen also suffered from plaque build-up in the arteries, according to the report.



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