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Sarah Burke's Injury: Hard To Prevent, But Not Always Fatal

I have tried to understand how Sarah Burke's freestyle ski injury actually ended up resulting in her death this week. The information, at first, was pretty sketchy.  Ultimately, we learned that, when Sarah's head snapped back in her fall, the whiplash caused a tear (dissection) of her vertebral artery, which cut off the blood to her brain, causing her to go into cardiac arrest and resulting in irreversible brain damage.

How does a tear to the vertebral artery like the one that took Sarah Burke's life happen and can it be prevented? MomsTeam's Brooke de Lench asked Dr. David Geier, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist and the Director of MUSC Sports Medicine in Charleston, South Carolina to explain in a guest article.

Sarah Burke's Death: A Reminder To Take All Head and Neck Injuries Seriously

Vertebral artery (e.g. whiplash) injuries, such as the one that claimed the life of Canadian freestyle skier, Sarah Burke, can occur to athletes in contact sports, such as football and hockey, and sports where falling is common, such as skateboarding and skiing
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