Natasha Richardson's death has sparked much conversation concerning head injury and how a fall on the bunny slope could cause such an injury. Natasha Richardson died from an epidural hematoma which is a type of head trauma that is an emergency and needs to be treated immediately. Treatment typically includes a craniotomy which is an opening in the skull. This procedure allows excess blood around the brain to be removed. If the excess blood is not removed, it causes death by compressing the brain tissue which usually leads to respiratory arrest.
Your brain can be found within the confines of your skull which is an immobile structure. There is an artery that runs in the temple area of the skull. This temporal area is susceptible to trauma and fractures. When fractures to this area occur, the artery can be identified which leads to bleeding into a space above the brain. This space between your brain and your skull is called the epidural space. When a fraction and damage to the artery occurs, it takes some time before the epidural space can fill with blood and compress the brain. However, once that space is filled with blood, the pressure increases leading to death.
Natasha Richards died in such a manner. After the fall, Natasha Richardson seemed well. At this time, she returned to her hotel even though she had already suffered damage to her artery. The space was filling with blood while she was in the hotel room. At this point pressure in her head was increasing and she began most likely developing a headache and eventually succumbing to her injuries.
The best way to prevent such injuries is through the use of helmets.
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