Natasha Richardson hit her head in a ski acident Monday and died — but there is a little more to the story than that.
The Sun Newspaper said that the actress was asked to wear a helmet but declined.
Your head is something like an egg shell. Hit the head and if the skull remains solid, the inside can still explode in a hemorrhage, putting pressure on the inside of the skull. Without relief, that pressure can be deadly.
Richardson was not wearing a helmet, which is common. Wearing of helmets is not required by law for skiers.
The first ambulance sent to a ski resort where actress Natasha Richardson fell and suffered a head injury was turned away, a paramedic told a Canadian newspaper.
Add to that the fact that there was no helicopter service to send Richardson to the proper care unit….
On March 26, 2009, in the New York Post, Dr, Cory Franklin wrote:
Canadian health care de-emphasizes widespread dissemination of technology like CT scanners and quick access to specialists like neurosurgeons. While all the facts of Richardson’s medical care haven’t been released, enough is known to pose questions with profound implications.
Richardson died of an epidural hematoma — a bleeding artery between the skull and brain that compresses and ultimately causes fatal brain damage via pressure buildup. With prompt diagnosis by CT scan, and surgery to drain the blood, most patients survive.
Could Richardson have received this care? Where it happened in Canada, no. In many US resorts, yes.
By MESFIN FEKADU, Associated Press Writer
As a steady stream of celebrities pay their last respects to Natasha Richardson, questions are arising over whether a medical helicopter might have been able to save the ailing actress.
The province of Quebec lacks a medical helicopter system, common in the United States and other parts of Canada, to airlift stricken patients to major trauma centers. Montreal‘s top head trauma doctor said Friday that may have played a role in Richardson’s death.
“It’s impossible for me to comment specifically about her case, but what I could say is … driving to Mont Tremblant from the city (Montreal) is a 2 1/2-hour trip, and the closest trauma center is in the city. Our system isn’t set up for traumas and doesn’t match what’s available in other Canadian cities, let alone in the States,” said Tarek Razek, director of trauma services for the McGill University Health Centre, which represents six of Montreal’s hospitals.
Read the rest:
Related from CNN on head injury:
In this Dec. 4, 2006 file photo, actors Natasha Richardson, left, and her husband Liam Neeson arrive to the premiere of ‘Dreamgirls’ at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. Richardson, 45, died Wednesday March 18, 2009 in New York.(AP Photo/Paul Hawthorne, file)