Many experts said given the seriousness of the injuries, there is no way Saget would have intentionally ignored the injury.
As everyone is just starting to come to terms with comedian Bob Saget's death, more horrific details of his death are emerging.
The 65-year-old actor was found dead in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando on January 9th. It was initially found that he had died from an injury to his head, but now it has emerged that he had suffered fractures in several parts of his skull that caused bleeding in both sides of his brain that led to his death, according to an autopsy report released on Friday. The nature of the injuries has left doctors experts confused, especially after it was initially assumed that he had suffered a bump of his head. One neurosurgeon said the nature of the fractures was akin to that of someone being hit on the head with a baseball bat. While no foul play is suspected, many were left stunned by such extensive injury, reported New York Times. The report noted fractures to thick parts of the skull and the bones in the roof of the eye socket.
The autopsy report prepared by Dr. Joshua Stephany, the chief medical examiner of Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, noted the injuries were the result of a fall, citing the impact on the back of Saget's head. “It is most probable that the decedent suffered an unwitnessed fall backward and struck the posterior aspect of his head,” wrote Dr. Stephany. The authorities informed his family that he had hit his head and possibly didn't think much of it and 'went to sleep.'
The new autopsy report has confused experts on how Saget hit his dead subsequently passed away. Brain injury experts claimed that if he had hit the back of his head in the right places, he would have the injuries mentioned in the report. “It’s like an egg cracking,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, a concussion expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “You hit it in one spot, and it can crack from the back to the front.” Many experts say there is no way Saget would have intentionally ignored the injury given the grievous nature of it. They believe he must have become unconscious or confused by the fall. “I doubt he was lucid,” said Dr. Bazarian, “and doubt he thought, ‘I’m just going to sleep this off.’”
The medical examiner ruled that the comedian's death was an accident. Some neurosurgeons were of the opinion that the nature of injuries found on his head was typical of someone who had fallen from heights. However, those who had fallen from heights usually tend to have injuries in other parts of their body unlike in Saget's case. “This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head, or who has fallen from 20 or 30 feet,” said Dr. Gavin Britz, the chair in neurosurgery at Houston Methodist. The report stated that there was no alcohol or illegal drugs detected in his system. The report found traces of Clonazepam, that's used to prevent seizures and treat panic attacks as well as Trazodone, an antidepressant.
"What happened to Bob Saget is extremely tragic, but unfortunately not uncommon. Falling from standing, especially onto a hard surface like a bathtub or hard ground, can cause the kind of injury that Mr. Saget experienced," said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, reported PEOPLE. Wen also noted that over 61,000 Americans die from traumatic brain injury every year, with a majority of them happening from falls.
In the wake of Saget's, Doctors are urging people to not play down any form of injury to the head and seek treatment immediately. Untreated head or brain injuries can have long-term effects, say doctors. "If repeated head traumas occur, the side effects and complications can mount. But even in the short term from just one injury, you can have long-term effects like concentration trouble, visual difficulty, blurry vision," said Dr. Joshua Marcus, a neurologist specializing in the surgical treatment of brain and spine conditions at Nuvance Health in western Connecticut, reported NPR.