Autopsy: Richardson Died From Bleeding in Brain

Associated Press - March 20, 2009 4:23 AM ET

NEW YORK (AP) - Doctors say actress Natasha Richardson could have been saved if medical treatment had come more quickly after her skiing accident.

An autopsy says she died from bleeding in her skull caused by the fall she took on a ski slope and the medical examiner ruled her death an accident.

At first, Richardson appeared fine and nearly four hours elapsed between her lethal fall and her admission to a hospital.

The New York City medical examiner's office says the Tony-winning actress suffered from an epidural hematoma, which causes bleeding between the skull and the brain's covering.

Patients with such an injury often feel fine immediately after being hurt because symptoms from the bleeding may take time to emerge. But doctors say it's a treatable condition, if the patient gets proper and immediate medical attention.

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