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March 22, 2009

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We were all very shocked that Natasha died from such a seemingly small accident. I think three factors were critical to her death: You already mentioned the delay due to no helicopter. But also, Natasha's own dismissal of medical care. I believe that at least in the US, if someone refuses care, medical service providers cannot insist unless the 'victim' poses a risk to the safety of others. The fact that she probably injured an artery rather than a vein meant the hematoma grew much faster and she didn't have as much time to get to medical care.

It's no comfort, but worth noting that her death has educated so many people about the dangers of head injuries. Natasha may save many, many lives now.
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In the case of Princess Diana's death, there was criticism of the French protocol of giving treatment on-site rather than rushing to a hospital, the American protocol. It would be interesting to have data, and to hear the opinions of emergency medical personnel on which protocol would seem to yield better results.

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