Head trauma is nothing to be taken lightly
The death of actress Natasha Richardson is tragic.
A beautiful, vital 45 year old goes for a ski lesson and falls. She gets up, declines medical care and goes back to her hotel. From there, the story takes a terrible turn. She becomes ill, and is transported to one hospital, then another and then finally to a third hospital near her home, where she dies two days later from brain injuries caused by an epidural hematoma. Her family, friends and fans are shocked. How can something as innocent as a ski fall kill you? Because, neurologists say, the brain, although complex, is a delicate organ. It very vulnerable and it needs to be taken seriously. And even a bump on the head can take its toll. Unfortunately, I know this all too well.
Thirteen years ago, my husband, daughter and I were in a terrible car accident on the Florida Turnpike. On our way to Orlando, our vehicle was hit by a driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel. Although we all had our seat belts on, our car swerved and hit a bridge embankment. My husband head went out the side window, hitting the windshield and the concrete. When EMS workers got to us, it looked as if a battle had taken place: burning cars, debris. And because my husband had a major slice to his head, blood was everywhere. I was not hurt, and my daughter had a minor cut from flying glass. They loaded us into ambulances and took us to two different hospitals, my husband headed for the local trauma unit. He stayed two days in the hospital. And although the whole thing was terribly traumatic, we left Florida three days later, with my husband behind the wheel of a rental car.
Because he felt fine and there seemed to be no urgency to his injuries, my husband went back to work and made an appointment with his doctor to have a CT scan two months later. When he got off the table, the radiologist asked him to sit down and immediately called a neurologist. As the doctor viewed the images, his face turned pale and he asked my husband how long had it been since he was in the accident. My hubby shrugged and said, couple of months. The physician then told him not to move he was going to schedule surgery immediately. It seemed my husband had developed a subdural hematoma that covered his entire brain. According to it usually formed from head trauma that causes the brain to be shaken severely. Many children who suffer from shaken baby syndrome have these type of injuries. And unlike epidural hematomas, which bleed in the brain fairly quickly, my husband injury developed slowly, causing a massive bruise to form. One false move could have given him a stroke, or caused permanent brain damage.
Although my husband made it through brain surgery without incident, there is a lesson here. Never take a head injury for granted. When doctors looked at his scans in the ER in Florida, they obviously did not see the bruising that later formed over his brain. Because the brain is loaded with large and small blood vessels, head injuries can cause all sorts of serious problems. Studies have shown that athletes who suffer even minor concussions pandora bracelet sale can develop neurological problems later in life. The brain is nothing to be messed with.
Ironically, March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. And although brain injuries are not as common as, say, broken bones, they do happen and many have serious consequences. They need to be treated immediately. In this story, my husband got treated, before suffering brain damage. He was fortunate. God bless her, but Ms. Richardson was not.
Have you ever faced head trauma? Know someone who has? What happened? We like to hear about it.
Editor Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.
My daughter suffered what seemed to be a terrible head injury when she was 12 in 1965. It was a horrendous horse accident and I still think about it all the time. I rode in the ambulance to the hospital with her and will never forget that night. She was seeing double but talking a little, coherently and calmly. She lost a lot of weight following the accident but miraculously she fully recovered. She is now 56, still rides horses every day, is a registered nurse, a mother of three, and a grandmother of two. I am forever thankful to God for being there, for sending His angels to care for her, or whatever it was that He did to rescue her from terrible consequences. I know this is not the type comment you were expecting but I wanted to post this nevertheless. I am so very grateful.
March 19, 2009 at 23:46
Report abuse Reply
2 years ago I slipped and fell on some ice and hit my head and was knocked out. When I came around I fell several times getting up. I was soaking wet from my body heat melting the snow I was lying on. I made my way into the house, but don remember doing so. My husband and son thought I had been drinking (I had not been). I was acting crazy they told me the charm bracelet similar to pandora next day. Talking crazy and having slurred speach, and not able to control all of my movements such as stumbling and fallingwhich they told me about later. They changed my clothes and put me in bed, where I woke up the next morning with very little memory of what had happened. I realize now just how lucky I was to have had no lasting problems from the incident. I guess I must have a hard head. After the Natassia Richardson accident, I realize just how lucky I was on that winter night, that I went out to feed the dog in the snow and ice. I was so very lucky, because instead of taking me to the hospital, they just put me to bed.
March 19, 2009 at 23:47
Report abuse Reply
Fourteen years ago, while on a business flight, I was struck in my temporal lobe by luggage that had been stowed in a defective overhead compartment. My neurologist, who checked for a subdural hematoma and found none, prescribed drugs for outlet pandora charms pain, and after about two years experiencing headaches and short term memory loss, the pain at the injury site subsided.
A little over a year ago, after experiencing stability issues, I was checked out for vertigo. Tests failed to re create my symptoms, and further tests were not done.
Within the last few weeks, CT scans of my head revealed a brain tumor (Meningioma) in the same location I was struck originally.
If there is a lession here head trauma must be followed up over time and thorough tests preformed to insure minor head injuries have not lead to serious brain issues later in life.
I am in the fight of my life now with newly diagnosed malignant melanoma, and the brain tumor was only found while looking for the source of the melanoma.
I suggest further research must be done to establish a clear link between head trauma and subsequent brain tumors.
March 19, 2009 at 23:48
Report abuse Reply
When my Father was in his 80 he fainted and fell while living alone. We did not think too much about it, but as time passed ( several months) my Father began to show symptoms of not being himself.
He was lethargic and not his happy go lucky self. It got even worse to the point of an unsteady gait, and forgetfulness.
We finally convinced him to see his General Practitioner who, just by his symtoms, determined that he probably had suffered a stroke. Well, my Sister was not satisfied with this diagnosis, and saw to it that he was seen by a Neurologist.
The Neurologist ordered a cat scan which showed that my pandora gold rings jewellery Father had a large hemotoma which was covering a large part of his brain. They preformed surgery and after a long hospital stay and therapy, thanks to the Lord, my Father regained his full brain function, and with time could walk well again.
The Neurologist explained to our family that sometimes a fall like my father had, in a elderly person,can cause a hematoma, and can even be mistaken for a stroke or dementia. He also explained that with the elderly it is much like a child, in that the brain doesn need much of a jolt to cause a blood clot.
Hope this info. helps someone.
I suffered a TBI ten years ago, when I slipped on black ice outside of my house in early spring. I hit the back of my skull with my full body weight when I landed on cement injuring my neck as well. I did not go to the hospital although they suggested I come in immediately. My son's bar mitzvah was just four days later. I said I was too busy to go to the hospital. I was one of the lucky ones.
In the days that followed, I had severe pain in the back and top of my head. Noise was disturbing and I was becoming increasingly fatigued. Within two weeks, I could barely lift my head and struggled to walk. My center of balance was skewed and I walked like Groucho Marx unable to assess where my body was in the space around me. Identified with suffering a TBI, I spent two months in physical therapy and worked with a neuropsychologist.
I needed help organizing my daily life, pain management, depression and support with severe panic attacks. I subsequently had surgery on my neck to replace two discs. I started treatment for cervical dystonia with Botox shots to lessen the pain of spasms in the muscles in my neck.
Prev: pandora charms online sale
Next: pandora braclet charms