Natasha Richardson wasn’t admitted to the hospital until nearly 4 hours after she’d taken her fateful tumble, almost 3 hours later than the ski resort officials claimed Tuesday, the New York Times reports. Ambulance dispatch records show that the first paramedics to arrive at 1pm were waved off when Richardson declined treatment; a second call from the hotel didn't come until 3pm, and the actress arrived at the hospital at 4:20.
The gap raises painful questions about whether Richardson, who died from an epidural hematoma, could have been saved it she had been treated faster. One brain surgeon not involved in the case says a quick response makes all the difference in such injuries. “It’s one of the most acute neurological emergencies. It’s one of the few times where it’s life or death, where you can truly save somebody’s life, or they die if you don’t get to them.” A resort spokesman told the Times ambulances are often called after skiers experience minor falls, and are often turned away.