Matthew Perry cause of death confirmed as an ‘accident’ after actor died from ‘acute effects of ketamine’ and drowning

The Friends star died aged 54 back in October

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The cause of death of Friends actor Matthew Perry has been revealed in a full autopsy report.

Matthew died back in October, and authorities initially believed that Matthew had drowned. He was found by his assistant, face down in his hot tub.

The actor’s loved ones insisted that he was clean and sober leading up to his death. But a full toxicology review has now found that ketamine did contribute to his death.

Matthew Perry on Friends
The much-loved actor played Chandler Bing on Friends (Credit: Friends/YouTube)

Firefighters reveal final moments of Matthew Perry

The Daily Mail previously revealed details on Matthew’s final moments, as described by the firefighters first on scene. Captain Erik Scott, of the LAFD, confirmed Matthew’s head was underwater when his assistant arrived back at his home.

He said: “Los Angeles City Firefighters responded [and] found an adult male unconscious in a stand-alone hot tub. A bystander had brought the man’s head above the water and gotten him to the edge, then firefighters removed him from the water upon their arrival,” he continued.

“A rapid medical assessment sadly revealed the man was deceased prior to first responder arrival. The circumstances are under investigation by LAPD and the LA County Medical Examiner. We mourn with families and friends who lose a loved one unexpectedly,” he continued.

It is believed that the star played a two-hour game of pickleball – a sport similar to tennis – on the morning of his death. After the game, he returned home, before sending his assistant out to run an errand.

When they returned, Matthew’s assistant found the star unresponsive in his hot tub. The assistant then called the police with reports of a cardiac arrest, it’s claimed.

Matthew Perry talking on The Late Show
The actor was found dead in his home by his assistant (Credit: YouTube)

Cause of death of Matthew Perry revealed

While the initial post-mortem results were ‘inconclusive’, further investigations were requested – including a toxicology report. Late last night (December 15), the full autopsy report was released.

Contributing factors included “drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine”. This is an “opioid-like drug used in the treatment of opioid addiction as well as acute and chronic pain”, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner wrote.

The actor had undergone ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety a week-and-a-half before his death, according to the report. However, the ketamine in his system at the time of his death “could not be from that infusion therapy since ketamine’s half-life is 3 to 4 hours, or less”.

There was no evidence of alcohol or other drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, PCP or fentanyl in the actor’s system.

Senior deputy medical examiner Raffi Djabourian found that there were “high levels of ketamine found in his post-mortem blood specimens”.

“The main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression. Drowning contributes due to the likelihood of submersion into the pool as he lapsed into unconsciousness; coronary artery disease contributes due to exacerbation of ketamine-induced myocardial effects on the hearts.”

Furthermore, it was stated in the report that Matthew had similar quantities of ketamine in his system as a hospital patient under general anaesthetic.

“Contributing factors in Mr Perry’s death include drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine (used to treat opioid use disorder). The manner of death is accident.”

Read more: Friends cast praised over ‘classy’ joint statement as they grieve ‘unfathomable loss’ of Matthew Perry

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Joel Harley
Freelance Writer

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