Dustin Jenson autopsy inconclusive on cause of death

Sunday, July 15, 2012

On May 18, Dustin Jenson, 26, fought in an unregulated MMA event in Rapid City, South Dakota called RingWars. This was reportedly his fifth fight, although there is no official record of any of his fights, as MMA is not regulated in South Dakota, despite a law that says it should be.

Jenson tapped to a triangle choke, and did not appear to take any significant damage in the bout (see video below). He told EMTs he was fine, watched two more fights, and went back stage to stretch out. Another fighter heard a moan, and discovered Jenson having seizure, some 45 minutes after the fight.

The called the EMT, the only medical personell on hand, and and ambulance was called.

Doctors at the near by Rapid City Regional Hospital determined he had increased pressure on his brain, and put him in a medically induced coma. Surgery was performed to relieve pressure, but Jenson did not wake up and was declared brain dead on May 24. He remained on life support until his organs were donated.

Now the Rapid City Journal is reporting the cause of death was not the MMA fight.

Blunt force trauma to the head caused a 26-year-old Sturgis mixed martial arts fighter’s death one week after a competition in May, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

The autopsy indicated the cause of death was a subdural hemorrhage resulting from blunt force trauma to the head. A subdural hemorrhage is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain and often causes brain injury and death.

The cause was related to an injury about a week earlier, according to the autopsy. The Sheriff’s Office said there is no conclusive evidence the injury was sustained in the fight.

South Dakota has no governing body overseeing boxing or MMA. Dean Schrempp, a state legislator representing Corson, Dewey and Ziebach counties, has advocated for a governing body and said Jenson would still be alive had there been one in place.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard disagrees, saying a commission would lead to more fights and therefore more injuries and deaths.

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