Update: Serene Branson and the fears of a stroke after newscast flub
Monday morning a video of a newscaster crossed the Internet. It had all the hallmarks of viral video-hood: a pretty blonde, an epic fail and an easy-to-watch length of only 17 seconds. Reporting from the Grammys Sunday night, Serene Branson, a reporter for the Los Angeles-based CBS affiliate, managed to fumble almost every word in her brief shot. A case of the nerves getting the better of a broadcaster? Perhaps. But soon a more troubling possibility arose: The Internet diagnosed Branson with having an on-air stroke.
Symptoms of a stroke, according to the American Heart Association, can include sudden confusion or trouble speaking.
Thankfully, CBS reports that she was examined by paramedics who said her vital signs were normal. "She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home and she says that she is feeling fine this morning," the station's official statement says.
Here's the statement from KCBS.
CBS removed most of the videos online, and a Twitter account started up, supposedly by Branson's nephews after seeing the newscaster's name as a trending topic.
"Oh my! Serene Branson is trending? I'm sorry, it was just the nerves," the first tweet reads.
Good Morning America spoke to a neurologist about the medical implications:
One of our readers writes:
Serene Branson's symptoms were extremely similar (the same) to those I had experienced for as many as five years. These symptoms were accompanied by short and long term memory loss. I went to see my primary care doctor who determined it was stress related and dismissed it.
Shortly thereafter. I had a severe tonic clonic epileptic seizure and found myself in the hospital at 4:00am. A brain scan found no abnormalities. Since (1.5 yrs), I have seen a neurologist who has prescribed medication and taken steps to better manage stress.
The only reason I am writing is with the hope that she learns that others suffer similarly and the symptoms should not be dismissed. See a neurologist and do not dismiss epilepsy. Untreated, this will only get worse and may be life threatening.
| February 15, 2011; 10:01 AM ET
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