Pathology of the Stars: Phil Hughes
The Cricket world mourns his loss
Popular Australian cricketer Phil Hughes suffered a lethal vertebral artery dissection while playing cricket in Nov. 2014 and passed away at age 25. He turned his head away when batting and the ball bounced up and struck him in the side of the neck causing the vertebral artery to dissect. The dissection went up into the brain and ruptured causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage. At the hospital, a CT scan detected the hemorrhage and emergent surgery was performed to try to relieve the pressure on the brain. Despite these measures, he failed to improve over the next 48 hours and passed away.
A vertebral artery dissection leading to subarachnoid hemorrhage is a very rare injury. When Phil swung the bat, his body and neck turned, so the bouncer struck him in the side of the neck where the face shield doesn't cover. The blunt force trauma crushed the vertebral artery leading to the dissection. The artery dissected up into the brain where it ruptured causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
A freak accident... so tragic!
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Photo credit: YellowMonkey Multi-license with GFDL and Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0 and older versions (2.5, 2.0 and 1.0); Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body 20th Edition
Thanks to Saad Mumtaz