What I found on the internet was this, from http://www.paralysis.org
Even in spite of this, I still feel the root cause was the decubiti. Would he have needed the abx if he didn't have the decubiti? That is not addressed. It seems to me that Dana Reeve is going out of her way to make sure that people don't think it was due to poor health care. There's still something that doesn't quite make sense to me, like, wouldn't he have had some epi around if it was known he was "sensitive" to medication? How many ppl die of anaphylaxis if they are given immediate care? I don't know...anyone? anyone? Note that, at the time of Reeve's death, I sent something to the Reeve foundation asking them to help fund research on decubiti, far less glamorous, and far more needed, IMO, than getting nerves to re-generate. And so it goes.
The death of Christopher Reeve last October was attributed to heart failure due to sepsis (also known as septicemia), an infection that spreads from a specific location (such as a skin sore or bladder infection) to the blood and other organs. What exactly happened to Christopher Reeve isn't known and may never be; there was no autopsy. Clearly, his death was related to pressure sores; at the time of his death Reeve had been battling more than one skin sore. He had even experienced life-threatening sepsis just weeks before he died.
Indeed, Reeve died as a result of heart failure, which was included in the death certificate. There were complicating factors, however.
According to Dana Reeve, speaking on national television, neither a pressure sore nor infection directly precipitated Reeve's coma and subsequent death. Despite what was reported at the time, Reeve's body almost certainly did not go into septic shock (a type of blood poisoning that can lead to organ failure and death). The most probable cause of death, Dana Reeve said, was a reaction to a drug Reeve was given to help treat a suspected infection. He had been given the drug on previous occasions, successfully. Reeve had a history of drug sensitivity. Shortly after getting an injection of the drug, Reeve's body went into shock (anaphylactic) resulting in coma and eventually, the shutting down of his organ systems. He never emerged from the coma and died less than 18 hours later.
Dana Reeve was very clear about the quality of care her husband received. She praised the medical staff and noted that their actions in the final hours were appropriate and unequivocal.
There may be lessons to be learned from the high profile life and death of Christopher Reeve. By all accounts Reeve's final days were totally normal; he was on the road making a speech, he was busy being a moviemaker, an advocate and a dad, basically doing the things he wanted to do. He never paid heed to the actuarial life-limits placed on his type of paralysis by statisticians (11.4 years).
Certainly, Reeve's medical staff urged him to heed the fundamental protocol for dealing with any level of pressure sore, that is, to get out of the wheelchair and let the wounds heal up. But Reeve chose to live his life fully and well and as much as possible on his own terms. He was not, as his wife explained, a man who was easily persuaded to slow down.
The primary lesson, of course, is to be especially aggressive with wounds. It may not be possible to prevent the occurrence of a pressure sore. With appropriate seating and sleeping equipment and attention to basic care, though, most people who are paralyzed can enjoy health and skin integrity for years to come.
While it may not have been a factor in Reeve's death, septicemia is a real possibility if a pressure sore gets out of control. This degree of infection is generally controllable, however. "