Natasha Richardson Death: The terrible demise of the actress serves as a warning to others about the need for proper treatment and prevention of various forms of brain injury. Natasha Richardson Death from a skiing accident has brought traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to the attention of the nation, particularly sports-related TBIs. When it comes to TBI, what can be done?
Richardson is most known for her roles in Patty Hearst (1988) and Cabaret (1998, winner of a Tony Award for best musical). Tony Richardson’s daughter, actress Vanessa Redgrave, was married to actor Liam Neeson.
Richardson had a concussion while skiing in Quebec (she was not wearing a helmet). She first refused therapy. Richardson was taken to the hospital soon after complaining of a bad headache. In New York City, she was taken to the intensive care unit, where she deteriorated rapidly and died two days later.
Epidural hematoma, a buildup of blood between the skull and the thick membrane surrounding the brain, was determined to be the cause of Natasha Richardson Death.
Who Was Natasha Jane Richardson?
She was an English actress who appeared on stage and in films. Actress Vanessa Redgrave and director/producer Tony Richardson’s daughter, Richardson, was a member of the Redgrave family. She was also a granddaughter of Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.
Talk and Die Syndrome
It’s tough to know what to do when symptoms like Richardson’s don’t appear straight away after an accident; this is known as the “Talk and Die Syndrome.”
Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and Medical Director for Brain Injury Programs at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital in Braintree, Massachusetts, says the term “‘Talk and Die Syndrome’ refers to an interval of lucidity before a person begins to lose consciousness after a brain injury.” Katz says.
Because the brain’s blood volume is increasing and placing less strain on it, the patient may appear fine at first.
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According to Rolland S. Parker, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist in private practice in New York, NY, and adjunct professor of clinical neurology at New York University School of Medicine, if the bleeding persists, the amount of blood may become significant enough to exert pressure on the brain.
This may lead to pressure on parts of the brain responsible for heartbeat and breathing, as Dr. Parker explains. “However, this isn’t typical,” says the national medical director of the Brain Injury Association of America, Dr. Gregory O’Shanick.
“It’s a rare occurrence,” he adds. However, a CT scan of the skull following a brain injury can assist detect bleeding that could be life-threatening. To prevent further brain injury, surgeons will “drill into the skull,” Dr. O’Shanick says, “to drain. Patients at risk are kept in the emergency room longer when the first CT scan is negative and the bleeding does not begin until much later.
Types of Brain Injuries
“Primary” damage occurs immediately after the incident. Dr. Katz notes that secondary disorders, such as a lack of blood flow to the brain, swelling of the brain, and inflammatory reactions, can exacerbate the damage. Because secondary injuries develop over time from primary injuries, they are referred to as “secondary.”
According to Dr. O’Shanick, blood vessels may be ruptured or damaged when a force is applied to the head and then passed through the skull to the brain. Dr. O’Shanick believes that as a result, the veins may bleed blood into the brain and skull. It is the most prevalent type of TBI, which disrupts the flow of information between neurons.
Concussion, a minor kind of diffuse neurotoxin injury, “is usually so slight that it does not show up on the conventional brain scans such as CT, X-ray, and MRI,” explains Dr. Parker. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can also cause bruising or bleeding on the brain’s surface or in the space between the brain and the skull.
A clot or hematoma forms when blood pools under or on top of the membrane covering the brain’s lining (a condition known as subdural hematoma) (epidural). One to two percent of patients with brain injuries have epidural hematomas, but up to 15 percent of fatal injuries have them.
But, says Dr. O’Shanick, “generally speaking, blood clots are not prevalent following a brain injury, especially one in the mild to moderate range of severity.” A clot is less likely to form if protective headgear is used during athletic activities, according to him.
Treatment and Protection
According to Dr. Parker, there is no accepted medication treatment for concussions, which typically heal themselves. Nevertheless, a person who has been hit in the head and who is still “clouded” in confusion may have a hemorrhage or damage to the surface of the brain.
Neurosurgery may be required to treat certain injuries. Medical assistance should be sought for anyone who experiences any form of head trauma, regardless of the severity of the injury.
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