Bob Saget's head injury death a tragic reminder of Natasha Richardson's

Bob Saget’s head injury death a tragic reminder of Natasha Richardson’s

On Wednesday, Saget’s family released a statement stating that authorities had “determined that Bob passed from head trauma.”

“They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep,” the statement read. “No drugs or alcohol were involved.”

Saget, who was 65, had been on comedy tour at the time of his death and was found dead in his Orlando, Florida hotel room.

No information was offered as to how Saget may have hit his head.

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta said it sounded like a possible “bleed on top of the brain” which may have resulted in a “subdural hematoma.”

“There is a blood collection in this scenario that’s on top of the brain pushing on the brain,” Dr. Gupta demonstrated to CNN’s Don Lemon using a diagram. “The thing about the brain, unlike any other organ in the body, it’s obviously encased in hard skull so it has no where to go if it has this kind of pressure on it.”

That pressure on the brain and brain stem can result in a person losing consciousness and their ability to breathe on their own.

“It may have been a pretty significant blow to the head,” Gupta said. “Maybe a fall in the bathroom, or on the headboard of your bed, you don’t think anything of it. Small veins can tear as a result of that blow and blood can start to leak.”

Saget’s death reminded some Liam Neeson’s wife, the late actress Natasha Richardson, who died after hitting her head during a skiing lesson at a resort in Qu├ębec, Canada in 2009.

Richardson, who was 45 at the time, reportedly initially declined medical treatment following the fall. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital hours later after complaining of a headache.
Mark Shand, the younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the wife of Prince Charles, died in 2014 after falling and hitting his head on a New York City sidewalk. He was 62.

Gupta said subdural hematomas are “far more common that people realize” and can develop over hours or even weeks.

Signs to look for include a headache, slurred speech, confusion nausea and vomiting as an indication that the person should seek medical treatment, he said.

Being on blood thinners (it is not known if Saget was) can also make a person susceptible to such bleeding.

“I don’t want to suggest that everyone who hits their head needs to go get a [computed tomography also known as a CT or CAT)] scan,” Gupta said. “Most do not need that obviously. But if it’s a significant blow, you’re on blood thinners …and again those symptoms: worsening headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, slurring of speech, things like that are unusual. You should definitely go get that checked out.”

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