Actor and comedian Bob Saget was said to have died after hitting his head while alone in his hotel and then going to sleep. This surprising news, confirmed by Saget’s family and a medical examiner, raises the question on how bumping your head could be deadly and when you should seek medical treatment.
NYU Langone’s Donato R. Pacione, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, speaks to VICE to answer some of these questions.
“The thing we always worry about with people who have a head injury is they think, ‘I’m going to sleep this off. I just have a headache,’” says Dr. Pacione. “But if you’re in a scenario like that, the answer is not to go sleep it off. The answer is to keep an eye on what’s going on. If you’re trying to sleep it off, especially if you’re alone, [you may never spot] all the warning signs we would look for.”
Dr. Pacione also says, “If you’re having any of the warning signs—headache, nausea, vomiting, or any of those neurologic conditions—yes, you should be going to the ER. I wouldn’t ignore it and just hope that it kind of goes away on its own.”
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