Investigation of Hockey Death - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/20/02

Investigation of Hockey Death

You probably heard the tragic story of a 13 year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio who was hit by a hockey puck in a game on Saturday and died two days later. An investigation into the death of Brittany Cecil finds the reason for her death was not so obvious. Yes, the puck fractured her skull, but the fracture is not what killed her.

The impact was so strong that the coroner says Brittany's head was knocked back similar to whiplash which in turn created a second injury, and that was rare and fatal. It caused a tear in her vertebral artery which feeds blood to the brain. "For them to think that this was even occurring first of all for this age, for this type of injury would just be, not within medical realm of thinking," says Dr. Louis Bowman from Columbus, Ohio.

The coroner says when Cecil got to the children's hospital the tear in her artery didn't even show up on a cat scan. She stayed in the hospital overnight. Though, while doctors worked on fixing that skull fracture. By Monday, the tear in the artery was bleeding so much that Cecil went into cardiac arrest and died, not because of her heart but because of a lack of blood to her brain.

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