The official autopsy for late comedian Bob Saget released on Thursday revealed he died from a backward fall in which he hit the back of his head and the base of his skull, causing a brain bleed and skull fractures.
NBC’s Dr. John Torres explained that the autopsy showed Saget had both a subdural hematoma and a subarachnoid hematoma, which is bleeding in different parts of his brain. He also had a subgaleal hematoma, which is basically a collection of blood between the skin and the skull — most likely at the point of impact.
Torres explained the autopsy also noted a contrecoup contusion. “Contrecoup” means a brain injury that happens on the opposite side from where the impact took place. The brain, which is essentially floating in the skull, likely bounced, so to speak, and hit the opposite side after impact, causing a bruise.
The autopsy also showed Saget was positive for COVID-19 at the time of his death, though the report noted there were no signs of inflammation.
Medical examiner Joshua Stephany said in a statement on Thursday that Saget’s death was accidental. He added that Saget died as a "result of blunt head trauma" and his injuries were likely "incurred from an unwitnessed fall."
Saget was found dead at the age of 65 in an Orlando hotel room on Jan. 9. Officials do not believe drug use or foul play were involved. The toxicology report released on Thursday morning indicated Saget had just the prescription drug clonazepam in his system — which treats seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety.
Saget’s family on Wednesday night officially announced the late comedian’s cause of death, which Stephany later confirmed. Saget’s family thanked his fans for their support and explained they felt like everyone should hear what happened to Saget directly from them.
“The authorities have determined that Bob passed from head trauma,” the statement said. “They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved.”
They added that they hoped fans would remember the “love and laugher Bob brought to this world” and would take those lessons with them going forward.
“…Be kind to everyone, to let the people you love know you love them, and to face difficult times with hugs and laughter.”