Tragic hindsight

Epidural hematomata are tricky, because obviously a provider doesn't want to fly into hysterics every time a person hits their head. In addition to the trickiness inherent in the diagnosis, it's generally ill-advised to offer commentary on a case when the details aren't fully available for review. That being said, I have an answer for the following question (via the Times):
The actress Natasha Richardson, who died on Wednesday from a brain hemorrhage after a fall on a beginner’s ski slope in Quebec, was not admitted to a hospital until nearly four hours after her accident, according to ambulance dispatch records obtained by the New York Times on Friday.


Those discrepancies seemed to introduce new questions about whether Ms. Richardson, who suffered an epidural hematoma — an accumulation of blood between the brain and the skull — after her fall, could have been saved had she been treated faster.
It serves no purpose to add to a family's grief by looking back on what could have been done differently. I do not know what Ms. Richardson was advised, how strongly, and by whom. But, coincidentally, I just read about treatment of epidural hematomata while doing some continuing medical education. Swift neurosurgical intervention can dramatically affect a person's chances of survival. I suspect quite strongly that, had she made it to Montreal in time, she would have survived.

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