Alex Trebek is Taking a Break From Jeopardy — for a Scary Reason

Jan 5, 2018 at 11:59 a.m. ET
Image: Kris Connor/Stringer/Getty Images

After spending decades hosting a show requiring people to use their brains, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is recovering from issues with his own. He is currently taking medical leave from the long-running game show to recover from surgery he had in mid-December to remove blood clots from his brain.

Back in October, Trebek took a hard fall, hitting his head. This resulted in subdural hematoma, which caused the blood clots. He was diagnosed with the condition in mid-December, and had surgery to treat it the next day.

"After two days in the hospital, I came home to start recovery," Trebek said in a video posted to the show's website. "The prognosis is excellent, and I expect to be back in the studio taping more Jeopardy programs very, very soon!"

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Even though he's taking a break from his hosting duties, don't expect to see much of a change in the Jeopardy TV schedule. Because episodes are taped months ahead of their airdate, the broadcast schedule should not be affected with the exception of the College Championship, which will now air in April.

What is subdural hematoma?

A hematoma is the swelling of clotted blood within the tissues caused by an injury to the wall of a blood vessel, which prompts blood to seep out into the surrounding area. On some parts of the body, they are visible, like a purplish bruise or a lump. But on other parts — like the brain — there's no physical evidence of the blood clots.

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A subdural hematoma — like Trebek's — happens when a vein ruptures between the skull and the brain’s surface and can either be acute (caused by a head injury) or chronic. And they are serious: Only 20 to 30 percent of people with acute subdural hematomas will regain full or partial brain function, and between 50 and 90 percent of those with the condition die from it, making them the most lethal of all head injuries.

Trebek appears to be one of the lucky ones, and we wish him a healthy new year and speedy recovery and hope he'll be able to resume his Jeopardy hosting duties soon.

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