Mr. Saget’s fractures to the back, right side, and front of his skull were unusual, according to some neurosurgeons. Doctors who examined the patient said the injuries resembled those of someone who has been thrown from their seat in a car accident or who has fallen from a great height.
A longer fall would have resulted in more extensive injuries, but the autopsy found that Mr. Saget’s body was otherwise uninjured. The death was ruled accidental by the coroner. Local authorities had previously stated that there were no signs of criminality.
Dr. Gavin Britz, chair of neurosurgery at Houston Methodist, described the situation as “significant trauma”. A person who has been hit in the head with a baseball bat or who has fallen from a height of 20 or 30 feet is likely to have this problem.
According to Dr. Britz, the autopsy found fractures to the skull’s thicker parts and to the roof of the eye socket. “You have significant pain if you fracture your orbit,” he said, referring to the eye bones.
During the autopsy, it was found that the knock ruptured veins in the space between the membrane covering the brain and the brain itself, causing blood to pool. Compression of brain centres critical for breathing and other vital functions occurs because the brain is held in place by a hard skull, doctors say.
According to the autopsy, no alcohol or illegal drugs were found in the actor’s system. Clonazepam, also known as Klonopin, is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic attacks and prevent seizures. The antidepressant Trazodone was also found in the tests, according to the report.
The autopsy did not reveal any evidence that either of these drugs played a role in Mr. Saget’s injuries. In contrast to popular belief, doctors cautioned that these drugs may cause drowsiness and even cause a fall.