Doctors who treated Phillip Hughes after he was struck in the neck by a cricket ball have described the condition he died from as "incredibly rare" and "very freakish".
Team doctor Peter Brukner told reporters on Thursday only a hundred cases of vertebral artery dissection had ever been reported. "There's only one previous case ever reported as a result of a cricket ball," Dr Brukner said.
St Vincent's Hospital Head of Trauma Tony Grabs said he had never encountered the condition before. "We haven't seen this type of injury at this hospital, it's very rare, very freakish," Dr Grabs said.
The ball hit Hughes on the side of his neck at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday and compressed his vertebral artery which carries blood to the brain.
It caused the artery to split and led to a 'massive bleed' in the brain, which Dr Brukner said was 'frequently fatal'.
But Hughes was resuscitated with the help of Cricket NSW doctor John Orchid and Newcastle intensive care specialist Tim Stanley.
"They all did an excellent job of keeping Phillip alive and he was able to transported by ambulance to hospital in reasonable condition," Dr Brukner said.
When he arrived at St Vincent's Hospital - in Sydney's inner-city - Hughes was treated by Dr Grabs.
"The head injury he had suffered was catastrophic. He arrived well intubated and been resuscitated very well," Dr Grabs said.
"Our first priority in this situation was to get a CAT scan of the head to determine what we could do.
"It was early recognised to make an intervention into the brain to help get the pressure down.
"If you put a lot of blood around the brain, you will become unconscious."
Once doctors determined there was bleeding on the brain they rushed Hughes into emergency surgery.
"We had extensive surgery to remove part of the skull around his brain to allow the brain to expand so it wasn't compressed," Dr Grabs said.
"The surgery took about an hour and 20 minutes or so and he was transferred back to the intensive care unit.
"This would be our normal procedure after this we need to induce a coma to rest the patient and rest the brain and look after all the other bodily functions for him.
"Over the period of the first 24 to 48 hours... he did not make very much improvement and unfortunately because of his injury, he died."
It was revealed earlier this week Hughes was wearing an 'old helmet' from manufacturer Masuri at the time he was hit.
The UK-based manufacturer of the helmet worn by Hughes is one of the leading suppliers of protective headgear to the world's top batsmen.
In a statement on Wednesday, Masuri said: "From the footage and pictures currently available to Masuri, it appears that Phil Hughes was struck by the ball to the rear of the grille and below the back of the shell, missing his Masuri Original Test model helmet.
"This is a vulnerable area of the head and neck that helmets cannot fully protect, while enabling batsmen to have full and proper movement.
"The newly-developed Masuri Vision Series helmet, which supersedes the 2013 helmet worn by Phil Hughes, does afford batsmen extra protection in this region - and still allows comfortable movement."
-THE DAILY MAIL