"You know, there are so many waves coming in all the time, you don’t have to worry about that. Just take your time, wave will come" - Duke Kahanamoku.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


2 de noviembre de 2010. Una fecha difícil de olvidar. Todos los que de alguna manera estamos relacionados con el mundo del surf nos quedamos, como poco, impactados al enterarnos de la noticia. Andy Irons nos había abandonado. No daba crédito a lo que leía y me contaban. ANDY IRONS. Uno de los mejores surfistas del mundo nos había dejado. Sin embargo nunca supe muy bien cual fue la causa exacta de su muerte, y creo que no fui la única, ya que lo medios de comunicación tampoco se ponían de acuerdo y cada uno contaba una versión diferente. 
Siete meses después, los resultados de la autopsia han sido publicados. Señalan como causa principal de la muerte, ataque cardíaco debido a que  Andy sufría de astheroclerosis coronaria. El análisis toxicológico sanguíneo revela también la presencia de 2 medicamentos: metadona y alprazolam, pero según señala el doctor Vincent J.M. Di Maio, ambos están dentro de los niveles terapéuticos normales y no contribuyeron a causar su muerte. Como era previsible, la presencia de estas dos sustancias en el análisis han causado una gran polémica en cuanto a la verdadera causa de su muerte. Os copio aquí todo el informe forense y que cada uno juzgue por sí mismo:  

Public Information Officer: Roger Metcalf, DDS

Inquest Performed on Phillip Andrew Irons
Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office has concluded the inquest on the body of Philip Andrew Irons, a 32-year old white male and a resident of Hawaii. The body of the decedent was discovered in a hotel room at the Grand Hyatt at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. A complete postmortem examination performed at the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s morgue in Fort Worth on 11-03-2010 was essentially negative for trauma and thorough investigation has ruled out foul play. Release of final autopsy report was delayed at the request of the family and in accordance with the court injunction.
Autopsy revealed presence of severe coronary artery disease and the postmortem toxicology studies indicated recent use of methadone and cocaine. Both immunochemical and molecular studies were negative for Dengue and other flavivirus (agents causing Dengue fever). Although the primary and the underlying cause of death is attributed to ischemic heart disease due to coronary artery pathology, the presence of both methadone and cocaine is a significant finding especially in a death due to a sudden cardiac event and is listed as contributing to the death but not resulting in the underlying cause. The death is ruled as “natural”.
Accredited By National Association of Medical Examiners and American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Accreditation Board

Re: Phillip Andrew Irons, deceased
As requested, I have reviewed the Autopsy Report on Phillip Andrew Irons. This is a very straight forward case. Mr. Irons died of a heart attack due to focal severe coronary atherosclerosis, i.e. “hardening of the arteries”. He had an atherosclerotic plaque producing 70-80% narrowing of his anterior descending coronary artery. This is very severe narrowing. A plaque of this severity, located in the anterior descending coronary artery, is commonly associated with sudden death.
The only unusual aspect of the case is Mr. Iron’s age, 32 years old. Deaths due to coronary atherosclerosis usually begin to appear in the late 40’s. Individuals such as Mr. Irons have a genetic predisposition to early development of the coronary artery disease. In about 25% of the population, the first symptom of severe coronary atherosclerosis is sudden death. There were no other factors contributing to the death.
Toxicological analysis of the blood revealed the presence of two medications alprazolam and methadone. Alprazolam is an anti-anxiety drug of the benzodiazepine group. Methadone is an analgesic drug used extensively in the treatment of chronic pain. Both drugs are present in therapeutic levels. Also present was benzoylecgonine, the inactive metabolite of cocaine. These drugs did not cause or contribute to the death.
From Gary H. Wimbish Ph.D., DABFT
Diplomate American Board of Forensic Toxicology

The following substances were listed in the Tarrant County Medical Examiners Postmortem Toxicology Report: Alprazolam, Methadone, Zolpidemand Benzoylecgonine
Alprazolam (Xanax) is a short acting antidepressant and anxiolytic (helps to relax) agent. Adult doses range from 0.25-2I11g to be taken 3x/daily. Individuals taking 6 mg/day reached an average blood concentration of 49 ng/ml. The concentration found in Mr. Irons’ blood was 52 ng/ml. This concentration is consistent with a common therapeutic regimen.
Methadone is a synthetic narcotic antagonist and was prescribed for years to block the effects of heroin. However, in recent times, it is used as an effective analgesic for the treatment of chronic pain. With chronic administration of 100-200 mg daily oral doses to tolerant individuals blood concentrations range from 428-795 ng/ml. The concentration found in Mr. Irons’ blood was 160 ng/ml. EDDP is a metabolite of methadone and an expected finding.
Zolpidem (Ambien) is a hypnotic agent (sleep inducing) prescribed in doses of 5 or 10mg to be taken before bedtime. Its duration of action is about 8hours.
Benzoylecgonine is an inactive metabolite (breakdown product) of cocaine. Its presence in his blood at 50 ng/ml is consistent with·the use of cocaine at about 30 hours prior to his death.

Cada uno puede sacar su propias conclusiones acerca de la muerte de Andy, pero lo que está claro es que era uno de los mejores surfistas del mundo y que ya no podremos volver a disfrutar con su increíble su surf. Sólo puedo decir:  LEGENDS NEVER DIE.  

PD: I´d rather be surfing.

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