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Words from the hospital

As we work on Tuesday's stories regarding Richard Zednik, I have time to post some of the more important -- and often jarring -- quotes from the four doctors who worked on Zednik.

Dr. Leslie J. Bisson, Sabres team doctor who put pressure on Zednik's lacerated carotid artery from the bench in HSBC Arena to the emergency room at Buffalo General:

"I didn't see that he was injured until he skated past our bench, and then I basically saw this guy with this horrified look on his face, holding his fingers up to his neck and profusely bleeding."

"Richard was asking me not to push so hard. He said, "You're hurting my neck." And I said, "Sorry, I've got to push this hard."

"That injury certainly could be fatal, very easily could be fatal, but I wouldn't say that he was close to death. He was talking to me the entire time. He didn't drop his blood pressure. ... If you can stop that bleeding from continuing, then you have some time, then he's fine. This is obviously not a good long-term solution to treat it that way.

"I wouldn't say that at any point we're thinking, He's going to die now. I'm thinking, We've got to get to the hospital extremely quickly or he's going to die. But I didn't think that he was close to death at any one point."

Dr. Robert McCormack, who worked on Zednik in the emergency room:

"He was clearly in shock from blood loss. His heart rate was high, his blood pressure was a bit low.

"We became concerned about his ability to breathe because of the swelling in his neck. He seemed to get less responsive and had more trouble speaking. At that point, we medicated him, sedated him and passed a tube to assure that he would be able to breathe."

Dr. Sonya Noor, who performed the surgery on Zednik's artery:

"It was just hanging by a thread, and it was very critical to us that that actually happened and it wasn't completely cut in half, because then it would have retracted and it would have been more difficult to get control."

"This is the artery with the vein right next to it with all those nerves. It managed to just clip the artery two-thirds of the way and not injure anything else. [How?] Dumb luck. That's just about it, because it really should have injured so many other things along the way. The rest of his nerves are intact so far, which is just incredible."

"So far, he looks very good. He's completely alert, awake, he remembers what happened last night. He remembers the pressure on his neck that he was complaining about. And this morning, neurological function-wise, he's right on target."

"He actually asked me when he could go back to training. I said, 'Next season.'"

Dr. G. Richard Curl, who assisted Noor and also was at the game:

"The initial care that he received is critical to a good outcome. It's hard to say what would happen under other circumstances, but clearly the care he got initially by the staff at the arena saved his life, no question about that."

---John Vogl


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]