Bob Saget’s autopsy report has appeared to raise more questions that offer answers about the cause of the 65-year-old comedian and actor’s sudden death on January 9.
Saget’s family revealed last week that he died of a brain bleed after hitting his head and going to sleep unaware of the severity of his injuries.
Though an autopsy report released Thursday painted a grimmer picture about such injuries, noting that he fractured his skull in multiple places and sustained bleeding across both sides of his brain.
Health experts are now asking how thoroughly his death was investigated and what caused have caused Saget such a “significant blow to the head,” which one doctor said appeared consistent with taking a baseball bat to the skull or falling 20 to 30 feet.
Health experts are demanding answers about the cause of Bob Saget’s death after an autopsy report found his injuries more significant than initially believed
Saget’s injuries stretched from the back to the front of his skull, with additional fractures above his eye sockets. Neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who’s also CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said such injuries result from a ‘significant blow to the head’
Gupta highlighted on a model skull where Saget’s injuries stretched. His death from him was ruled an accident with no suspected foul play, though some are now questioning otherwise
Saget was found dead in his hotel room at The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, on January 9. He had just completed a stand-up show and was due to perform others.
His cause of death was attributed to him falling backward and striking the back of his head, according to an autopsy report released Thursday by Orange County medical examiner, Dr. Joshua Stephany. His death from him was ruled an accident with no suspected foul play.
He was also COVID-19 positive when he died, though it did not play a role in his death, Stephany’s report added.
“I think what it reveals more than anything else is this was not a simple bump on the head,” neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who’s also CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said on an episode of the network’s ‘New Day’ on Friday.
“When you read this autopsy report that may still be the case, but it was a pretty significant blow to the head.”
A graphic depicted by CNN highlights the bones in Saget’s head that were cited as being fractured, which includes a stretch of bone from the front of his skull to his front temporal bone, in addition to fractures above his eye sockets.
“That takes a lot of force to do that. If I knew nothing else about what had happened, you’d think this was someone who had fallen down the stairs and had several impacts to the head or been unrestrained in a car accident,” Gupta said.
“Whatever happened here, we may never know how he fell or what happened, but it was a significant blow that caused that. And likely, the bleeding on top of the brain is likely causing pressure on the brain and subsequently, sadly, what led to him becoming unconscious and dying,” Gupta concluded.
“This is significant trauma,” said Dr. Gavin Britz, the chair in neurosurgery at Houston Methodist Hospital, told the New York Times.
“This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head, or who has fallen from 20 or 30 feet,’ he said, noting that Saget’s fractures were not only widespread, but in particularly thick parts of his skull.
“If you fracture your orbit, you have significant pain,” he added, referring to the areas around the eyes.
Byron York, the Washington Examiner’s chief political correspondent, responded to the autopsy report by questioning whether the initial investigation could have gone deeper.
“This is really odd. Makes you wonder about the thoroughness of the original investigation of the scene,” he tweeted.
AUSA-SDNY former Richard Signorelli weighed in and suggested that there may have been foul play involved in Saget’s death despite officials ruling it an accident. “No wrongdoing found. Something doesn’t make sense given his severe head injuries,” he tweeted.
Emergency physician Dr. Megan Ranney also addressed her concerns raised by the autopsy report and demanded that Saget’s family know what happened.
“Hi. ICYMI: This is not a “slip & fall”. This is not a minor concussion. This is MAJOR head trauma. My condolences to Saget’s friends & family. I hope that they get answers as to what really happened,” she tweeted.
Many Twitter users responded to the uncertainty over Saget’s death by offering their own conspiracy theories about what happened or questioning whether he was murdered.
Ranney addressed such comments in a follow-up tweet, writing, “PS: this doesn’t mean it was INTENTIONAL trauma, either. But this is more than just “I whacked my head on the kitchen cabinet.”
Saget’s family said last week that he went to sleep after hitting his head, completely unaware of how serious the injury was, his family has revealed.
His family, and his global community of fans, were stunned by his death as loved ones said he was the happiest he had ever been when he died.
Saget had, however, spoken about having Covid 19 several days before his death, telling a podcast: ‘It is not good, it does not feel good.’
Saget went on to crack jokes about the different strains, telling A Corporate time with Tom and Dan: ‘At one point Omicron was opening for Delta but Omicron got so big that Delta’s opening now.’
Dr. Stephany’s report lists ‘Covid 19’ as a finding in relation to Saget’s respiratory system but says there was ‘no evidence of acute or chronic inflammation by microscopy’.
Saget was found dead in his hotel room at The Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, on January 9 after performing a stand-up comedy show. A private funeral was held for the entertainer in Los Angeles last month
John Meyer and John Stamos embraced at Bob Saget’s Funeral at Mount Sinai Memorial Park
Jimmy Kimmel and wife Molly McNearney were seen washing Saget’s funeral
He concludes that the star’s death was an accident caused by ‘blunt force injuries to the head’, noting various abrasions to the scalp and fractures to the base of Saget’s skull.
‘In consideration of the circumstances surrounding the death, and after examination of the body, toxicology analysis, microscopic analysis, respiratory pathogen panel testing, bilateral lung cultures, and postmortem CT, it is my opinion that the death of Robert Saget, a 65- year-old white male found unresponsive in a hotel room, is the result of blunt head trauma,’ the report says.
‘It is most probable that the decedent suffered an unwitnessed fall backwards and struck the posterior of his head. The manner of death is an accident.’
Saget’s widow Kelly Rizzo appeared on Good Morning America last month to share her grief. She also referenced her late husband’s bout of Covid, downplaying it as ‘nothing serious’.
She broke down in tears as she said he had no health problems.
‘All I’ll point to is that last post of his where he said he felt 26,’ she said, referring to his final Instagram post.
‘There’s only so many tears your body will let you cry,’ Rizzo said, speaking from the LA home she shared with the comedian.
Saget was seen in a promotional pic for Full House in September of 1993
The interview, taped on January 18, was the first day she said she was able to speak about him without becoming overcome by emotion.
Through tears, she said: ‘He just wanted to spread love and laughter. I’m so proud of him.
A private funeral was held for the late entertainer in Los Angeles January 14, which was attended by his Full House castmates John Stamos, Dave Coulier, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweeten, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; and friends and colleagues such as Jimmy Kimmel, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and John Mayer.
Saget had suffered a number of family tragedies, including the death of his sister Andrea at 35 from a brain aneurysm in 1985, and the 1994 death of sister Gay from the autoimmune disease scleroderma.
The comic had done extensive work with the Scleroderma Research Foundation.