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Report: Orlando Brown died of diabetic ketoacidosis

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Former Browns and Ravens tackle Orlando Brown died last month at the age of 40.  According to Andrea K. Walker of the Baltimore Sun, Brown suffered from diabetic ketoacidosis, a rarely fatal consequence of diabetes.

Maryland’s chief medical examiner, David Fowler, said that there was no evidence Brown was taking insulin or that he otherwise was even aware he had diabetes.

“He never talked about having diabetes, never,” former Ravens lineman Wally Williams said of Brown.

Brown’s funeral is scheduled for Friday.

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27 Responses to “Report: Orlando Brown died of diabetic ketoacidosis”
  1. daytonaken says: Oct 7, 2011 8:40 AM

    RIP Zeus.

  2. benh999 says: Oct 7, 2011 8:41 AM

    Very unpleasant way to die. That he didn’t seek medical attention is rather strange.

  3. serifyn says: Oct 7, 2011 8:48 AM

    “there was no evidence Brown was taking insulin or that he otherwise was even aware he had diabetes.”

    That right there tells you all you need to know about the healthcare players receive after they retire.

  4. bunjy96 says: Oct 7, 2011 8:49 AM

    A simple blood test, on a regular basis, might have prevented that.

    That’s as bad as the male not having tests for prostate cancer. 100% preventable.

  5. arrogantathlete says: Oct 7, 2011 8:50 AM

    I bet the concussion people wanted so bad for him to die of a concussion. So they could sue the NFL. He was just unhealthy like most people that weigh 400 pounds and die young.

  6. keepitrealdreamsteel says: Oct 7, 2011 8:56 AM

    Such a shame…soo young. Rest in Peace.

  7. eyeamlegend says: Oct 7, 2011 9:08 AM


  8. oriolesvsravens says: Oct 7, 2011 9:13 AM

    RIP Zeus. Too bad he couldn’t help Gaither while he was here.

  9. Steeler's Will says: Oct 7, 2011 9:15 AM

    It’s scary to think you could have this and never know it. RIP Mr. Brown

  10. stevebarlow says: Oct 7, 2011 9:21 AM

    Wow. As a diabetic, this hits home. I wonder how he didn’t see the warning signs though? This could have been treated pretty quick and easily.

  11. randolph32 says: Oct 7, 2011 9:34 AM

    It says NOTHING about the health care retired players get…he could have been diagnosed going to a ‘doc in the box’ and paying $50….it’s too bad he passed away but it certainly was easily avoidable.

  12. orakpownd says: Oct 7, 2011 9:48 AM

    Thats a shame. I am not diabetic…nor do I regulary communicate with anyone who has such a health issue…but I am disturbed of how this came about. I am sure there must be warning signs, or a general “You know what I really don’t feel very good, I think something may be wrong, I should see a doctor”.

  13. sportsguygerald says: Oct 7, 2011 9:49 AM

    I can relate and understand how it could happen. I found out that I was an insulin dependent diabetic in a hospital ER with a glucose reading of over 600 mg/l. I knew absolutely nothing about the symptoms of the disease, had no health insurance and no doctor checkup. The fact that he was massive may be a probable reason for the disease, but other factors can cause it to occur later in life in addition to being obese. I was told that in all likelihood, mine was the result of a viral infection nullifying my pancreas’s ability to produce insulin. Often, drastic weight loss is a result of long time untreated diabetes. It’s is a silent and deadly killer.

  14. joelvis72 says: Oct 7, 2011 9:50 AM

    Yet another example of how sometimes these huge, strong guys are more fragile than the weenies of the world (including me).

  15. seneca1ss says: Oct 7, 2011 10:14 AM

    R.I.P. Brother
    (I better get my ass in gear. 10yrs with untreated diabetes)

  16. link49 says: Oct 7, 2011 10:16 AM

    What about the physical that by rules the teams have to do to the players? because this disease is no show from one day to another.
    Is notable how many ex-players have been died lately in his early years (40-50)

  17. deadeye says: Oct 7, 2011 10:23 AM

    “there was no evidence Brown was taking insulin or that he otherwise was even aware he had diabetes.”

    That right there tells you all you need to know about the healthcare players receive after they retire.


    How do you know that the post-NFL health care is to blame? Isn’t it possible that Brown feared doctors, and CHOSE not get the proper health care instead of having that forced upon him by the “unfair system”?

    Besides, didn’t this guy earn millions of dollars in his career? Why is his health care anyone else’s responsibility if he had that much money? He’s got no one to blame but himself.

  18. ppdoc13 says: Oct 7, 2011 10:48 AM

    Rest in peace Zeus – you were a model Raven and loved in Baltimore.

  19. nysaysbringit says: Oct 7, 2011 10:58 AM

    deadeye is 100% correct in my opinion.
    A man in his position should have been pro-active with his own healthcare. I do regret his passing …but life and sometimes death are all about the decisions we make.

  20. ravensgrl says: Oct 7, 2011 11:35 AM

    This episode of DKA could have been his first symptom as it related to his undiagnosed diabetes. How many relatively healthy people between 30 – 40 years of age (especially men) have routine health checkups yearly or even every other year?
    No sense in trying to determine who / what is to blame for this tragedy.
    RIP Zeus

  21. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 7, 2011 12:01 PM

    My wife had diabetes for 29 years and she died of diabetic ketoacidosis. It was because she was really sick overnight and got severely dehydrated. We knew it was a problem but we called the doctor’s office and they had no sense of urgency, so we didn’t worry. She seemed fine later but she died later that day while I was outside.

    Moral of the story: If you have diabetes, don’t take any chances. Get to the ER if you’re sick and make sure someone is monitoring you.

  22. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 7, 2011 2:59 PM

    Almost everyone who has diabetes must monitor it several times daily. It only takes one missed test and a couple of skipped doctor appointments to land you in the morgue. I’ve had over a dozen relatives pass away due to complications from diabetes in the past 15 years, and most of them shirked their responsibilities between going to the doctor like they should, taking medication and eating properly. It’s just not a way I want to see anyone else go out.


  23. cometkazie says: Oct 7, 2011 3:55 PM

    I was diagnosed with type II diabetes by the VA with very little symptoms. I take my meds and am compliant and nine years later have no trouble with the disease. But it’s not going away. I have to stay compliant.

    Eric Dolphy died similarly. The French doctors knew he was a musician and thought he was on drugs “as musicians often are.” He died w/o regaining consciousness.

    How much did Brown weigh when he died?

  24. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 7, 2011 5:56 PM

    He was pushing 4 bills.

  25. cometkazie says: Oct 7, 2011 7:56 PM

    Small wonder.

  26. mooeer says: Aug 13, 2012 3:42 AM

    I don’t know all the details of what happened to him, it is such a shame this happened. I’m type 1- yes there are usually symptoms but if people aren’t aware they are diabetic they could go into a coma with very high bg and not realize what was going on or not be able to get help. Many people do seek treatment and are told they have a cold or flu, thus not getting treatment until they are in much worse state and many people are misdiagnosed.

    I had a normal glucose test only six months before my diagnosis and even with all the clinical results when I became critical suddenly my doctor didn’t hospitalize me until I was in advanced DKA. Several doctors before that ignored symptoms that should have said check for D. This is a terrible mistake DKA, high bg & diabetes need to be taken very seriously and to be treated at a hospital immediately.

    There is a lot of ignorance regarding D, education is necessary.

  27. mooeer says: Aug 13, 2012 3:54 AM

    So yes if you have these symptoms and you think you have D, or you do have D, GO TO AN ER IMMEDIATELY

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