Natasha Richardson’s Death a Reminder of How a Seemingly Minor Head Injury Can Prove Fatal

Movie Star Natasha Richardson’s death from a traumatic brain injury she sustained when she fell during a beginner’s ski lesson is a tragic reminder of not just how important it is to use a helmet when skiing or snowboarding, but of how what might appear to be a simple head injury can quickly turn into one that is catastrophic.

The actress was injured on Monday while skiing at a Quebec resort. Though Richardson appeared to be fine after the fall, laughing and talking and walking, she began to complain of feeling pain after arriving back at her hotel room.

She was rushed to the local hospital before being flown back to the US. Richardson died today. She was 45.

A article quotes Dr. Carmelo Graffagnino, of Duke University Medical Center’s Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, as explaining how patient might look “deceivingly normal” after hitting his or her head when in fact the person is experiencing bleeding in the brain.

The delay in exhibiting traumatic brain injury symptoms can range from five minutes to three hours after an accident. This type of injury is called an epidural hemorrhage, and doctors have been known to refer to this experience as the “talk and die” syndrome.” It is important that a patient receive medical attention right away to decrease the chances that the brain injury might become permanent or fatal.

If you have hit your head during a car accident, a slip and fall accident, during an assault, or any kind of accident where you suffered a blow to the head-even if you feel fine-it is important that you seek medical attention so that in the event that you are suffering from a more serious brain injury, steps can be taken to treat you immediately . You also may be entitled to personal injury compensation from a negligent party.

Natasha Richardson dies after ski fall, CNN, March 18, 2009
‘Minor’ head injuries can turn serious rapidly, experts say, CNN Health, March 18, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Natasha Richardson, IMDB
Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes

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