'Talk and die' syndrome not common, doctor says

Mar 19, 2009 By Ridgely Ochs

In "talk and die" syndrome, people can have what seems to be a mild blow to the head appear perfectly lucid and then within hours lapse into a coma -- which is what reportedly happened to actress Natasha Richardson after she fell on a Canadian ski slope Monday.

"It is not a very common occurrence," Dr. Steven Flanagan, medical director of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, said Wednesday. "A patient comes into the emergency room talking and then rapidly deteriorates" as pools and puts pressure on tissue.

Flanagan and other doctors speculated that Richardson could have had an epidural hematoma.

Usually caused by a trauma such as a fall, blood builds up between the cover of the brain, called the dura, and the skull. Blood trapped inside the "closed box" of the skull can compress , which can cause pressure on vital functions, said Dr. Henry Woo, associate professor of and radiology at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

A CT scan is the best way to diagnose a , said Dr. Ashesh Mehta, a neurosurgeon at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. Like other doctors, he said anyone who has had a blow to the head should be watched for changes in his or her condition.

___

(c) 2009, Newsday.

Explore further: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Blame brain, not heart, for high blood pressure

Apr 15, 2007

The controversial idea that one cause of high blood pressure lies within the brain, and not the heart or blood vessels, has been put forward by scientists at the University of Bristol, UK, and is published this week in the ...

New York doctors testing heated chemo for rare cancer

Mar 05, 2009

Long Island cancer doctors have borrowed a page from medicine's past to write a new chapter on how to address a rare malignancy by infusing heated chemotherapy directly into the abdomen using a heart-lung machine.

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

15 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.