Published January 05, 2009
The autopsy for John Travolta's son, Jett, was completed in the Bahamas on Monday.
And while a funeral home official says Jett Travolta's death certificate listed the cause of death as "seizure," Dr. Cyril Wecht, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Anna Nicole Smith's son, Daniel, in 2007, says the official autopsy report may take weeks to be released - if ever.
"If there is no evidence of criminality, and if police have no questions or suspicions, and there are no drugs are involved, the family has the right to keep the autopsy private," Wecht says.
Wecht, while not involved in the Travolta autopsy, says he expects the pathologists performing the autopsy to come up with one of three findings.
“If it’s a traumatic death of a definitive nature, they will know that today,” Wecht tells Foxnews.com, referring to reports that Jett Travolta hit his head in a fall in a bathroom in the family's vacation home.
“A hematoma doesn’t kill you,” he says, referring to the visible knot on someone’s head resulting from blunt trauma. “But if the hematoma is associated with a fracture or hemorrhage inside the skull, called a subdural hematoma, that could lead to traumatic death.”
Dr. Wecht would be surprised, however, if a fall in a bathroom is ruled the cause of death.
“Usually a fall to the floor does not result in death,” he said. “There is usually not enough velocity from a fall of that short a distance.”
The Travoltas have said that Jett suffered from Kawasaki disease, so “they’ll be examining that as well,” says Wecht. “It has a very low death rate, but it can cause sudden death by aneurysm.”
If both a subdural hematoma and a Kawasaki-related event are ruled out, Jett’s history of convulsive seizures could be considered.
“But if it’s a convulsive seizure disorder, they won’t find anything,” Wecht says. “There is nothing of significance to find, anatomically speaking. The only way you can make that diagnosis is if you rule out everything else, including drugs in a toxicology report. If that is the case, that could take a couple of weeks.”
Wecht performed his autopsy on Daniel Smith alongside the Bahamanian coroner, and co-signed his report. He says co-signing the report is customary unless the independent coroner submits his own as a matter of course, or if the two differ on the cause of death.
“The local pathologist takes the lead because it's his territory,” Wecht says. “The only reason you have to [file your own] is if there are some areas, or an area, on which you disagree.”
Bahamian Minister of Health Hubert Minnis declined to offer coment on any of the autopsy results Monday.
Jett's body was expected to be transferred soon to Grand Bahama's Restview Memorial Mortuary, said Glen Campbell, an assistant funeral director.
The family was expected to send his remains by Wednesday to Ocala, Florida, where the actor owns a home, said Obie Wilchcombe, a family friend and member of the Bahamian parliament.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.