Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to make a full recovery from a rare blood clot in a vein between her brain and skull. Doctors suspect that the blood clot formed after Clinton suffered a concussion after fainting in her home during a bout with the stomach flu. She is being treated with blood thinners. If left untreated, medical experts say the blood clot could have grown large enough to cause a major blockage of blood, which would have led to swelling and even death.
In 2009, acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson, wife of actor Liam Neeson, suffered a traumatic head injury (TBI) when she fell while taking a beginner skiing lesson at a resort in Quebec, Canada, about 80 miles from Montreal. The injury was followed by a lucid period during which the actress appeared to be fine and was able to talk and act normally. Paramedics were turned away and told they were not needed, and even Richardson refused medical attention twice.
But three hours later she was taken to a local hospital after complaining of a headache. She died two days later. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was an epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head. Richardson was not wearing a helmet at the time of her accident.
Head injuries, even seemingly mild ones, should always be taken seriously. Immediate medical attention should be given to people who experience one of the following after a head injury – extreme drowsiness, abnormal behavior, severe headache or stiff neck, loss of consciousness, even briefly; and vomiting more than once. Mild head injuries require no treatment unless symptoms of serious head injury arise, which can happen hours later. Thus, friends and family should keep careful watch over someone in the hours after a head injury to make sure they are doing OK, even after being cleared by medical professionals.