MONTEGO BAY, St James — Extensive brain damage, causing swelling and haemorrhaging, was what led to the death of 31-year-old construction worker Mario Deane in August while he was in the custody of the Barnett Street police in Montego Bay.
“The brain damage was what caused Mario to die. The injuries caused the swelling of the brain; he had haemorrhage in the brain stem. And that would cause immediate loss of consciousness,” United States-based pathologist Dr Michael Baden disclosed during a press conference in Montego Bay, yesterday.
The brain stem is the region of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord.
Dr Baden, who observed the autopsy on Deane’s corpse at the Cornwall Regional Hospital on Tuesday, said that the construction worker — who was a resident of Rosemount in St James — lost consciousness “within seconds of the injuries causing severe brain damage”.
He also disclosed that, from the results of the autopsy, the brain damage was so severe that Deane had no chance of survival, even as hospital records indicated that he was taken to hospital soon after he sustained the injuries.
“He had the haemorrhage into the lower part of the brain that made recovery not possible. It was just a matter of how long he would survive before his heart stopped. In this instance, it was three days,” Dr Baden noted.
Baden explained that once the brain is injured it begins to swell. Because of the confines of the skull bones, the swelling has no place to go than down the spinal cord via a small opening “through which the spinal cord reaches the brain”.
“So, over the course of a number of days, as the swelling continues, it pushes the lower part of the brain stem down into the spinal cord and that causes death,” Dr Baden illustrated.
However, he noted that the only chance of containing the swelling of the brain was through the application of medication in a one-hour time frame, dubbed the “golden hour” in medical circles.
“Most people die in auto accidents of head injuries and of brain swelling. What happens if they can get that person to a hospital within the “golden hour”, they can give them medication and intravenous things to prevent the brain swelling. And many people will survive,” said Dr Baden.
He also had high praises for the high level of professionalism and co-operation from Dr Saranji.
“I think that Dr Saranji is an excellent forensic pathologist. Seems to be a very independent person,” said Dr Baden, who left for his home in the US yesterday.
Dr Baden committed to returning to testify in court if necessary.
He was accompanied to the press conference by Deane’s mother Mercia Frazer, his sister Sadiki Deane, his aunt Andrea Frazer, and the family attorney Miguel Lorne.