The awful news that Phil Hughes, the 25 year old Australian batsman, has died after being hit by a cricket ball two days earlier, has stunned the world. 

It is reported that the ball struck an area high on his neck that was not protected by his helmet and that this split a major artery leading to a significant bleed on his brain. Despite the doctors’ efforts to save him and to reduce the pressure on his brain he did not survive. 

This sad event highlights the devastating impact of focal trauma leading to a bleed on the brain and the resulting damage. While a patient can recover, this is by no means always the case. 

We have conducted a number of cases where babies have sadly sustained focal trauma during their births leading to severe haemorrhage. Although many survive, they have been left with significant brain injuries causing cerebral palsy, a condition which needs life-long care and support.