March 18th, 2009
06:50 PM ET

“Talk & Die” syndrome more common that you think

Danielle Dellorto
CNN Medical Producer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/03/18/brain.injury/art.brain.cat.scan.gi.jpg]

A blow to the head that at first seems minor and does not result in immediate pain or other symptoms can in fact turn out to be a life-threatening brain injury, experts tell CNN.

It's very common for someone who's had a fall or been in a car accident to appear perfectly lucid just after the impact but then to suddenly, rapidly deteriorate, Dr. Carmelo Graffagnino, director of Duke University Medical Center's Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, told CNN.

Actress Natasha Richardson was talking and joking after she fell Monday during a beginner ski lesson, according to officials at the Canadian resort where she was staying. But soon after she returned to her room she complained of head pain and was taken to a nearby hospital, then to a larger medical center in Montreal. She was flown by private jet Tuesday to a New York hospital, where she was reportedly in critical condition. Her family has not commented publicly on her condition.


Filed under: Medical News
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Anna, HK

    So sad to hear the passing of someone full of life one moment, & then gone the next. Life is fragile. My sympathies to her family.

    March 19, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  2. Sandy

    I hope that this tragedy serves a good purpose and makes more people – including doctors – pay more attention to what might seem like a superficial head injury. When my children were small if they had the slightest bump to their head we were always given instructions on what to watch for in case there was a concussion. A few months ago we had to go to the emergency room with my grown son after a dump truck hit him and totaled his truck. No only were we not given any instructions or even told to watch for symptoms...the glass in the cut in his head was not even cleaned out. The doctor was more concerned with eating her candy and asking what his truck looked like. Most of us discount the monor falls but minor things can bring about major consequences. My heart goes out to her family.

    March 19, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  3. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    When you think you have all the time in the world--life is so fragile--–my sympathies to Liam Neesen and his sons.

    March 19, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  4. Lynn-Ann

    loss is part of our journey. We will never know the day, hour, time. May her family find strength in this time of sorrow. And remember her life, and not her tragic end. Much love and prayers go to Liam and his children and immediate families.

    March 19, 2009 at 12:19 am |
  5. Neo

    I was so shocked by this and have been following it all day. It's hard to believe someone can pass from an accident like that, it scares me. At AmFar she was the picture of perfection, so poised and classy. So sad.

    March 19, 2009 at 12:18 am |
  6. sindy

    i have a question today there is a good interes rates for refinance your home if you have good credit .what about for hard working family with poor credit want to purchase a home

    March 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  7. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    oh, i missed the report that she has passed. so terrible. such a traumatic loss for her family.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  8. suels

    I am so devastated for Liam and their 2 beautiful boys.. all their family...so sad and so tragic...
    I hope their special memories will help them through this very difficult and sad time

    March 18, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  9. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    my prayers to mr. neesom and their families.

    @subeksha, she is still fighting, hopefully she will make it through and recover.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  10. Maria

    Life is short; I feel sad for her family members

    March 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  11. Lisa Reiss

    While obviously I don't know her or her family, my deepest loving thoughts and prayers with Liam and their children and the family. This is very sad...

    March 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  12. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    God Bless, my prayers are for her and for her family,

    March 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  13. subeksha

    RIP Natasha. This is sad and i am astonished. Unexpected, that'z how life is.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  14. Pati Mc Camp Hill, PA

    Thoughts and prayers with Liam and the children, Ms. Redgrave, Joely and the rest of Natasha's family and friends (including Anderson). So sorry. So sad.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  15. Jacqueline, NY

    @C, Ca: You are so right.

    March 18, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  16. Jacqueline, NY

    My heart is so sadden as I am just hearing of the death of Ms. Richardson. I've been praying for her recovery ever since I heard of her injury. My prayers are with the family in this time of sadness. May God bless and keep them in their time of mourning. Rest in Peace, Mrs. Neeson

    March 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  17. M. Levy Chicago Illinois

    Words are not to easy to express at a time like this. My heartfelt condolences to this wonderful family.

    March 18, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  18. Annie Kate

    I just read that Natasha has died. I feel for her family, especially her children. It is hard to accept that someone as talented and vibrant as she was in her career and in her personal life is no longer living. Life is scary – you never know what minor occurrence can kill you unexpectedly.

    March 18, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  19. Darlene & Carlos

    We are so saddened with Natasha Richardson's death. She seemed like a kind and very humble person. Our prayers are with Liam, their two children and the rest of her family. My husband's grandmother fell from the stairs and she too passed away from a head injury. It is important for everyone to know how important it is to seek medical assistance after a fall no matter how small the fall is.

    March 18, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  20. Isabel

    That story is frightening. Shows that we do not have any control over our lives!

    March 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  21. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    That's pretty scary info. I survived a TBI from a car accident over 20 years ago, and it was a very difficult and painful physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual process for everyone involved in my recovery. TBI has to be one of the worst injuries to survive. My thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Richardson and her loved ones at this horrible time in their lives.

    March 18, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  22. c,ca

    This story is so incredibly sad. I have been keeping up on it since I first heard about it yesterday.

    I can't say that I followed Natasha Richardson's career. I really didn't know anything about her. The first time I saw her was on a recent episode of "Top Chef". She was a judge and the contestants had to prepare a meal for an amfAR (aids research organization) benefit. Apparently, she is very involved with this charity.

    During the show, she stood out from the crowd. She was so attractive and pleasant, and had a beautiful speaking voice. When I heard her name associated with this terrible accident, I thought, is that the same person that was on Top Chef?

    Stories like this really make you stop and think. Life is short – we need to be thankful everyday for what we have. You never know when you will lose the ones you love.

    March 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm |