Navigation Links
Brain Hemorrhage Might Explain Natasha Richardson's Death
Date:3/18/2009

Symptoms can take time to progress and cause irreversible damage, doctors say

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- In the wake of the sudden and tragic death Wednesday of actress Natasha Richardson, reports that she suffered critical brain damage after a seemingly minor fall on a Canadian ski slope on Tuesday have many people wondering how this could happen.

Richardson had been born into one of the most lauded acting families in Great Britain; her grandfather was Sir Michael Redgrave, and her parents were the actress Vanessa Redgrave and the film director Tony Richardson, who died in 1991. Her aunt was the actress Lynn Redgrave.

"If you take the name Natasha Richardson out of the picture and ask how a neurosurgeon would think of a case where someone has a fall which seems fairly minor and then deteriorates a few hours later, quite a few things would go through the surgeon's differential thinking," explained Dr. Arno Fried, chairman of neurosurgery at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. "It's not an uncommon scenario."

A worse-case scenario would be bleeding either on the surface or deep inside the brain, Fried said.

And this does fit with many of the details of Richardson's accident that are known at this time. According to news reports, the 45-year-old award-winning actress fell during a beginner skiing lesson Tuesday afternoon at the Mont Tremblant ski resort north of Montreal. She was not wearing a helmet.

Richardson suffered no immediately apparent injuries and was able to walk and talk right after the accident. "She was awake and alive and laughing and breathing," Catherine Lacasse, the public relations supervisor for Mont Tremblant Resorts, told Bloomberg News. "She refused to see a doctor. She said she was fine and everything was OK."

However, Richardson reported a headache about an hour after the mishap and her condition deteriorated. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, then transferred to Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal and then flown Tuesday afternoon to New York City, where she reportedly received care at Lenox Hill Hospital before passing away on Wednesday.

News reports had suggested that Richardson's condition had been extremely grave.

"We don't know for sure what transpired, but it does sound as though she could have had an expanding hemorrhage between her brain and her skull that simply got to a point that started to press on her brain significantly, causing considerable neurological compromise," said Dr. Steven R. Flanagan, director of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University's Langone Medical Center in New York City. He was not involved in Richardson's care.

Flanagan said a diagnosis of hemorrhage would account for the headache that surfaced after the accident.

And, Fried said, "slow bleeding [could] take a few hours to make itself known."

"The brain is contained within the skull and the skull is a rigid box. There is no movement [possible]," Fried explained. "Any pressure that builds up will put pressure on the brain, which is very unforgiving and sensitive to pressure."

"It's not terribly common but someone can be perfectly lucid [after hitting their head], then go rapidly downhill," Flanagan said. "It's not a major surprise. It's clearly reported in the literature."

Dr. Eugene Flamm, chairman of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, agreed. He stressed that the low-velocity, low-impact type of accident that Richardson seems to have experienced would typically not result in a grave outcome.

Such outcomes are "pretty rare," Flamm said. However, he added that it was certainly a possibility that physicians hold in their mind when seeing patients.

"It's quite unusual, but we see a lot of people in the emergency room and if they have a head injury and the scan is OK, we send them home but with instructions to 'look out,'" Flamm said. "I don't think any neurologist would say they had never heard of this scenario."

Richardson, who had appeared in several movies and won a 1998 Tony Award for her performance in Cabaret, was married to the actor Liam Neeson. The couple's two sons were reportedly with Richardson on the ski holiday.

Richardson's mother, Vanessa Redgrave, was seen entering Lenox Hill Hospital Tuesday night "looking somber," The New York Times reported. Her sister, actress Joely Richardson, was also spotted entering the hospital, CNN reported.

More information

Learn more about traumatic brain injury at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.



SOURCES: Arno Fried, M.D., chairman, neurosurgery, Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey; Steven R. Flanagan, M.D., director, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center, New York City; Eugene Flamm, M.D., chair of neurosurgery, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Bloomberg News; CNN; The New York Times


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Georgia State/Georgia Tech Center for Advanced Brain Imaging to expand brain, mind research
2. Brain Hemorrhage May Explain Natasha Richardsons Condition
3. Study finds how brain remembers single events
4. Kids Brain Trust: A New Nonprofit Gives Parents Hope of Defeating Autism
5. Study finds biological clue in brain tumor development
6. Brain abnormality found in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
7. Musicians Brain Waves Are Also in Tune
8. Alzheimers Tied to Shrinkage in Brain Area
9. New Mexico Doctors Now Treating Brain and Prostate Cancer With RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology
10. The Conference Board Launches YourBrainatWork.org in Time for Brain Awareness Week
11. Stress may cause the brain to become disconnected
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... Fullerton, California (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Solutions, a nationwide provider of communication enabled solutions and managed services today ... cloud software for the enterprise contact center market. , Altura, one of ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Mental health watchdog ... the Church of Scientology and renowned professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz, is continuing its ... “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia. The opening of the exhibit ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... ... Boyd Industries, a leading supplier of dental chairs and cabinetry , ... pediatric dentistry , at AAPD 2016, the annual conference and trade show of the ... Unit keeps dental hand pieces and other anxiety-provoking pieces of the dental delivery system ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... The Radiosurgery Society (RSS), a ... is recognizing five medical residents and students for their outstanding contributions to research ... awards will be presented at the 2016 SRS/SBRT Scientific Meeting taking place June ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... As reported by MassGeneral.org, on ... penis transplant in the United States . The 64-year-old patient who received the transplant ... transplant could restore not only a natural appearance, but also urinary and sexual function ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 The World Health ... PrePex device to include adolescents aged 13 years, and ... can be offered for adult and adolescent males in the ... . PrePex was the first male circumcision device to ... MedTech,s CEO, Eddy Horowitz said: " The ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ABU DHABI , UAE, May 23, 2016 ... the importance of Precision Medicine and the role ...     The First International ... under the distinguished patronage and presence of Sheikh ... Development. The conference focused in Precision Medicine, which helps provide ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 ... reach USD 5.0 billion by 2022, according to a ... generation of medical waste coupled with the lack of ... is expected to drive the demand for reprocessed medical ... devices as compared to that of the original device ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: