Bob Saget's Autopsy Reveals He Suffered Multiple Skull Fractures, Was COVID-Positive
By Miguel A. Melendez
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Bob Saget's autopsy report is revealing more staggering details as to what caused the actor's death.
According to the Orange County Medical Examiner's autopsy report, obtained by ET, it states Saget suffered multiple skull fractures and abrasions to his scalp stemming from "an unwitnessed fall backwards" and striking "the posterior aspect of his head." Saget also had discoloration in the upper and lower eyelids -- the result of the skull fracture -- as well as subdural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage. The cause of death is listed as "blunt head trauma."
Furthermore, the autopsy report concluded the late comedian's respiratory system was "COVID-positive." The report didn't expand on the effects, if any, COVID had on Saget, but less than a week before his untimely death, Saget told Margaret Cho on her podcast taped on Jan. 3 that he had battled with COVID.
"I change every seven or eight years. COVID has delayed the change a little bit, but it's also rebooted me in some ways," Saget shared.
Two days after filming that podcast, Saget appeared on the A Corporate Time With Tom & Dan podcast and shared that having COVID was not easy on him.
“It is not good, it does not feel good,” he said. “I don’t know if I had Delta or… I might have had a combo. Maybe at one point they [Delta and Omicron] were working together."
Saget's widow, Kelly Rizzo, would later tell Good Morning America that his bout with COVID was nothing serious.
The late Fuller House star never disclosed when exactly he was diagnosed with COVID-19, but research shows individuals who recover from COVID-19 may continue testing positive for the virus for weeks, even months, despite no longer being contagious. Saget was performing just outside of Jacksonville, Florida, the night before he was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Orlando. That he was performing stand-up comedy despite testing positive for COVID-19 means he likely was given what the Centers for Disease Control refers to as "symptom-based release from isolation."
The autopsy report comes one day after the Saget family released a statement to ET confirming that "head trauma" was the cause of death. The family said that, after hitting the back of his head, Saget "thought nothing of it and went to sleep."
The Orange County Sheriff's Office had initially said in an incident report that security found Saget on the bed with his hand on his chest. The report also stated Saget was lying in bed in a supine position, indicating a possible heart attack. "His left arm was across his chest while his right arm was resting on the bed," the report stated. "No signs of trauma were seen."
Dr. Ben Rein spoke with ET following the Saget family's statement and discussed the effects from even the slightest head bump.
"When you hit your head, what can occur is a brain bleed," Rein said. "And in that case, the blood vessels in and around your brain can become damaged and blood can begin to leak from them. And when that occurs, blood can pool between the brain and the skull, and that can apply pressure to the brain tissue and that's very bad for the brain."
It's also potentially even riskier for older folks.
"In general, older people are at higher risks for brain bleeds because as you age, those blood vessels become more vulnerable to damage, and the space between your brain and your skull increases," Rein said. "So in this case, Bob Saget was 65, so he may have been at a higher risk for something like this."
Saget dying from an accidental head trauma is rare, but Dr. Michael Dorsi told ET that it can happen.
"It's not unheard of, but it's something that I see as a neurosurgeon covering emergency rooms," he said. "I see it several times a year where someone cannot recall even hitting their head and now they have intracranial blood that they can't account for."