Beloved comedian and Full House star Bob Saget died suddenly earlier this year, shocking his family, friends, and fans. Now over a month later, his family has revealed the cause of his tragic death: head trauma, likely from a fall he didn’t think much of. This sad revelation serves as a reminder that even the smallest bumps on the head can be dangerous and life-threatening.
Bob Saget’s Tragic Death
Saget was found dead in his Orlando hotel room on January 10, with little pointing to what could’ve been the cause. After an investigation, his family announced the heartbreaking news in a statement.
“The authorities have determined that Bob passed from head trauma,” the Saget family said. “They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved.”
The medical examiner later said Saget died of blunt head trauma likely caused in an “unwitnessed fall”. He had a fracture to the back of his head and around his eyes at the time of his death, and his brain had suffered significant damage, including a hematoma and hemorrhage. The autopsy determined Saget had likely fallen backward and hit the back of his head.
How Head Trauma Can Quickly Become Life-Threatening
This isn’t the first time a celebrity has died suddenly due to a seemingly innocent bump on the head. In 2009, actress Natasha Richardson was skiing with an instructor in Quebec, Canada when she fell and hit her head on the beginner’s slope. The actress reportedly refused medical attention, later telling her husband, actor Liam Neeson, that she had simply “taken a tumble in the snow.” But the reality was much more dire.
After her condition started to deteriorate, Richardson was taken to a hospital in Montreal where she was later pronounced brain dead. Neeson rushed to her side only for doctors to show him an X-ray of her brain, which the actor described as being “squashed up against the side of the skull.” He said goodbye to his darling wife and mother of two young boys while she was on life support.
Signs of Head Trauma to Watch For
Both Saget and Richardson’s deaths are heartbreaking examples of how a head injury, as small as it seems, can be extremely dangerous. Today on CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta highlighted some signs to look for in anyone who has suffered head trauma. These include a worsening headache, feelings of confusion, nausea, vomiting, and slurred speech. (Gupta points out that older adults could be more at risk after hitting their heads.)
If you or anyone you know bumps their head and starts feeling any of the symptoms listed above, Gupta says it’s imperative to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. That’s because these injuries can cause bleeds that make the brain start swelling. But since the brain is encased in bone, it doesn’t have anywhere to go. Treatment options include removing some bone or pooled blood to relieve the pressure.
Of course, not all head bumps are cause for concern. “It’s not common, I don’t want to unnecessarily frighten people, but those are some indicators that you should get this checked out,” Gupta says. “There are ways to quickly diagnose this and quickly do something about it.”
A bump on the head is only concerning if these symptoms show up, which is why it’s important to monitor any head trauma. It’s heartbreaking to think that if Bob Saget had not been alone that night, he might have survived his head trauma. Our hearts are with his family during this difficult time.