Bob Saget died from head trauma. How common is this?


(NewsNation Now) — Beloved comedian Bob Saget died of accidental head trauma, his family confirmed to NewsNation this week.

The comedian and “Full House” star was found dead Jan. 9 in a Florida hotel room. He’d performed in the area the night before as part of a stand-up tour.

A toxicology analysis didn’t show any illicit drugs or toxins in Saget’s body, said a statement from Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany in Orlando.

“His injuries were most likely incurred from an unwitnessed fall,” the statement said. “The manner of death is accident.”

But how common are fatal head injuries and how does this happen? Fatal head traumas have surfaced in the news in the past including actress Natasha Richardson and Gary Coleman. A neurologist weighed in on the possibility of this happening on “Morning in America.”

“Much like when you burst a pipe in your house, it doesn’t instantaneously flood the house, but a leak begins, you may go to sleep, to only to wake up to a flooded house,” Dr. Tom Pitts said. “The issue here is there is a rupture of something called the middle meningeal artery, arteries excrete high-pressure bleeds versus a vein which is very slow, and happens over time.”

Traumatic brain injuries can impact the lives of people of all ages. There were more than 61,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States in 2019, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The scary part here is it is preceded by a lucid interval where you are relatively OK, you hit your head, you may even lose consciousness,” Pitts said. “But you get up say, ‘I’ll get checked out in the morning.’ And it could be catastrophic. It’s one of the saddest processes we see in head trauma.”

There are three types of TBI: mild, moderate and severe. Pitts has not seen Saget’s specific death report but urged those suffering from a head injury to go to a doctor if they are concerned.

“if you have any kind of significant head trauma, especially to the back part of your head, and especially if it results in any kind of disruption in thinking speaking vision, movement, sensation, coordination, consciousness, things like that, you should immediately seek medical care,” Pitts said. “Err on the side of safety. We have no problem checking you out, making sure you’re OK.”

Saget was best known for his role as beloved single dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom “Full House” and as the wisecracking host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

Saget was married to Kelly Rizzo Saget and had three daughters from a previous marriage. You can learn more about head injuries and danger signs here.

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