The Death Of Bruce Lee: A Modern Medical Perspective

A 32-year-old American-born Chinese actor and celebrated martial artist suffers from a headache for which he takes over-the-counter medication (200 mg meprobamate and 325 mg aspirin). He becomes unconscious and dies from acute cerebral oedema. The individual was the famed Bruce Lee whose death remains to generate significant controversy and speculation. Herein I highlight the clinical events of this case and discuss the differential diagnoses of his cause of death. The likelihood of an adult Reye’s-like syndrome is considered, and the cautious use of aspirin is advised in young athletes and martial artists, with dissuasion from administration being emphasized during times of viral illness.


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