Bob Saget's death highlights dangers of head-injury, 'immediate medical attention' advised
According to health officials, the circumstances around the death of beloved comedian Bob Saget last month are not uncommon.
Saget, the beloved star of sitcom 'Full House' and,host of the long-running 'America's Funniest Videos', reportedly died of a head injury on January 9 in a Ritz-Carlton hotel room in Orlando, Florida.
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In a statement, Saget’s family said the 65-year-old actor "accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep." There were no signs of alcohol or drugs in his system. And health officials confirmed that the circumstances of his death are not uncommon and traumatic brain injury (TBI) is quite common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 166 Americans die from TBI related events each day. Some individuals are at greater risk for suffering a TBI or having worse health outcomes after an injury, the CDC said on its website. Falls are responsible for nearly half of the TBI-related hospitalizations, according to the federal agency.
Dr Fred Davis, DO, an emergency medicine physician at Northwell Health outside New York City, is not privy to Saget’s case but told Fox News that head injuries are especially dangerous in individuals who are older or take certain medications.
"Blood thinners put people at greater risks for bleeding if they get a head injury," Davis told Fox News. "It's important for individuals who suffer a head injury to be aware of certain signs and symptoms," Davis added.
"Head trauma where there is loss of consciousness can be concerning," he said. "Specific factors that are cause for further evaluation include if the person is not back to baseline two hours after the injury, if there is concern for a significant enough impact to cause a fracture to the skull, if there is bruising around the eyes, vomiting more than two times, or age greater than 65 years old."
An individual should be taken for immediate medical attention if "the person passed out after a blow to the head, has episodes of vomiting, or is not acting right," he added.
Bill Schwartz, a physical therapist who deals with concussions and head injuries in athletes at the Schwarz Institute for Physical Therapy and Performance in New York, says head injuries can be dangerous. In an interview with Fox News, Schwartz said, "Individuals who experience loss of consciousness, neck pain, vomiting, numbness or tingling in arms, confusion/amnesia should seek immediate medical attention."
According to the CDC, those who suffer a head injury should get checked for concussion and subdural hematoma, a condition in which blood pools in the brain. While epidural hematomas are relatively uncommon, there have been reports that these injuries have turned fatal when ignored. So, according to medical experts, blows to the head should not be ignored, and they should be evaluated by medical professionals.