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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
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