Actress Natasha Richardson died in March 2009, after she fell and hit her head on a beginner’s ski slope in Quebec, Canada. By all accounts, the accident was minor—the actress refused medical treatment at the scene. What she did not realize was that she was bleeding internally and pressure was building up in her brain. Later, after developing a severe headache, she was taken to the hospital by ambulance—arriving approximately three hours after the accident. She died as a result of an epidural hematoma.
What Is an Epidural Hematoma?
An epidural hematoma is a closed head injury that trauma doctors call “talk and die syndrome” because the accident victim seems fine at first, with no visible injuries and no obvious symptoms. The injury occurs when a blow to the head causes the brain to bounce against the skull, tearing a blood vessel. This damage causes bleeding in the space between the skull and the dura mater—the tissue that surrounds the brain. The pressure builds up in the head, pressing the brain against the skull.
Symptoms of an Epidural Hematoma
When an accident victim hits his head, he may lose consciousness briefly. Afterwards, he may seem fine. However, minutes or hours later, he may develop a severe headache, blurred vision, or vomiting and eventually lose consciousness. If left untreated, he may suffer brain damage or even death.
Get Checked Out After a Blow to the Head
An epidural hematoma is treatable if caught early, so be sure to go to Swedish American Hospital or another Rockford-area hospital for evaluation if you hit your head in a car accident. If you lost a loved one in an accident and have questions, contact our office today for a fast and free case evaluation.