Natasha Richardson Autopsy Results

Natasha Richardson Autopsy Results
Following a morning autopsy, NYC medical examiner determines the actress died of "epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head"
The New York City medical examiner has made a ruling on what exactly killed Natasha Richardson.

Following an autopsy this morning, the agency determined that the Tony Award-winning actress succumbed to an "epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head." The death was ruled an accident, said medical examiner spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.

Resulting from head trauma, an epidural hematoma is a buildup of blood in the skull that exerts pressure on the brain and can trigger coma or, in Richardson's case, death.

A private service is being planned by the Greenwich Village Funeral Home.

The 45-year-old stage and screen star died Wednesday, two days after what was described as a minor fall during ski lessons on a beginner slope.

Richardson was lucid following the tumble Monday at the Mont Tremblant resort near Montreal. "She did not show any visible sign of injury, but the ski patrol followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and insisted she should see a doctor," a spokeswoman for the resort told E! News.

But, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail, paramedics were turned back after being informed they were not needed.

"They never saw the patient, so they turned around," said Yves Coderre, director of operations at Ambulances Radisson, the emergency services company for the resort.

Coderre said another ambulance was later called to the five-star hotel where the actress had returned with her two sons after her fall. But by then, even though she was still conscious, Richardson's condition had worsened fast, most likely from bleeding in her brain, said the medic.

"When you have a head trauma you can bleed, it can deteriorate in a few hours or a few days," he said. "People don't realize it can be very serious. We warn them they can die and sometimes they start to laugh. They don't take it seriously."

In any case, by the time she was hospitalized, Richardson slipped into unconsciousness and was later declared brain dead before doctors could take decisive action to stem the bleeding.

Husband Liam Neeson rushed to her bedside and had her flown to New York City Tuesday afternoon. Family members, including mother Vanessa Redgrave, sister Joely Richardson and aunt Lynn Redgrave, gathered to spend their final hours with Richardson.

She was removed from life support yesterday afternoon and the family announced her death late in the evening.

Broadway theater marquees will be dimmed in Richardson's memory tonight at exactly 8 p.m.
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EarthsMightiestAdmin
3/19/2009
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