Sarah Burke: Brain Trauma Explained

Dr. Richard Besser explains signs doctors will look for in Burke's recovery.
2:44 | 01/12/12

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Transcript for Sarah Burke: Brain Trauma Explained
Spring and doctor -- -- faster now to talk. A bit more about -- -- -- the first went to Italian everyone knows there are risk involved in the sport. That's right you know there's no -- to say how common injuries occur -- and thankfully serious head to head injuries -- are very rare. But you know common sense tells you that that there's real risk here -- when that in the sport -- started. Those courses that they were -- the top of those was only six to eight feet high now it's 22 feet high and when they're doing their performance. They can be twenty feet above that so you can be falling as many as forty feet. If you're falling that far you can reach speeds of thirty miles an hour clearly she didn't have a direct hit like that but but the force on your head is is is is pretty profound. -- reports are she completed her run you know had landed on her feet and it was kind of like a whiplash. A fact which -- did have a helmet on is that. She did it now recreational helmets will protect you up to about seventeen miles an hour but let me show you what happens to the head into the brain when we when he hit -- hard surface. So the -- that will protect you from from breaking your scholar and and will reduce some of the impact. But -- -- is a hard -- casing inside that your brain is pretty soft and there are really three things they can happen. When you hit that hard surface their blood vessels that are around your brain that contain air and that can cause damage to your brain. The nerves within the brain itself can shear from from stopping in the and that hard force -- -- -- cause brain damaged or you can give bruising around that this sides of your brain. All of those things from heating a hard impact it could to a group home. To say the least and then she is and com and that's what we're hearing and what is that telling. Well you know it really doesn't tell us that much revenue because because at this you can -- -- Coleman -- coma because of the injury. But she was evacuated very very quickly and one of the things you worry about after a bad brain injury. Is swelling of the brain. And the -- trying protect against that one of the things you do is put someone into a coma. Because it slows down the brain activity and no deal that was put in -- breathing tube in they've done that for her. So we don't know they have released a lot of information is -- in a coma from the injury or from the treatment. That's true and what are the signs patient and doctor going to be looking. Wednesday's weather going to be checking her yet every hour if he if she's human induced coma a medical coma as they would. Believe that there where it would they're gonna see what can she -- you can she open and close our eyes can she will -- her toes. As we saw with Kevin Pearson -- there was there was a lot of damage early on but he just went snowboarding. And so it's very hard from what we know now to predict everyone's praying that she's gonna have a similar -- Of outcome. But until we know more it's really hard. -- -- Kevin gives us great hope to saw recently and to have him back and it's. Sarah's husband Rory said she is gonna fight to recover.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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