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February 11, 2008 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Zednik stable after carotid artery severed in Panthers-Sabres game. (NSF Hemophobes)

In an awkward coincidence, the Sabres were involved the last time time this happened in an NHL game when Clint Malarchuk nearly bled out in his goalie crease in 1989.
posted by afx114 (54 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've been debating posting this all morning. Not pretty; he's lucky to be alive, I think. And at least this has nothing to do with the violence in hockey - just a horrible accident.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:38 AM on February 11, 2008


I think I'm going to be sick.
posted by notsnot at 11:44 AM on February 11, 2008


I'm amazed that he managed to skate back to the bench after that. After Malarchuk I think the medics and players had a better idea of what to do: get the bleeding stopped and get Zednik out of there as fast as possible.

Really was a freak accident, too. People get checked like Jokkinen did, and go ass over teakettle all the time - it's that Zednik was was coming up behind him, and of course it all happened too quickly for Zednik to slow down.

I'm starting to think the Sabres need to rethink their team policy of being named after a sharp metal object.
posted by cmyk at 11:44 AM on February 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


They caught in right in the "nick" of time. Horrible.
posted by Senator at 11:48 AM on February 11, 2008


Interesting local Buffalo discussion here. Rip Simonick, the equipment manager quoted in the ESPN article was there for the Malarchuck incident in 1989. Perhaps he played a role in saving Zednik's life.

Nowadays don't they have that gel stuff they can shoot into a cut/wound to instantly stop the bleeding? They're using that kinda stuff in Iraq and Afghanistan, I wonder if they have a stock of it behind every NHL bench?
posted by afx114 at 11:49 AM on February 11, 2008


Well, as long as this doesn't get deleted, don't forget Maple Leaf Borje Salming, this is how he looked after his skate in the face.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 11:52 AM on February 11, 2008


Reaffirms my position that checking is best done in chess.
posted by monospace at 11:54 AM on February 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was watching last night when this happened. It was nearly impossible to tell what happened, but the blood on the ice was unmistakable. I wish him a speedy recovery.

There's an interesting contrast between the way the sports shows handled this incident and the Malarchuk accident. 19 years ago, the cameramen turned their cameras away from Malarchuk's arterially bloody scene, and as far as I know the only clips of that are under lock and key in Toronto. I was a little surprised to see the Zednik clip repeated several times, even slo-mo on the tv last night and you-tube by the morning. Maybe we can't turn away from bloody messes anymore. Maybe the generation of cameramen that were at the Malarchuk game has passed. Either way, I could've lived without seeing exactly what happened.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:55 AM on February 11, 2008


There's an interesting contrast between the way the sports shows handled this incident and the Malarchuk accident. 19 years ago, the cameramen turned their cameras away from Malarchuk's arterially bloody scene, and as far as I know the only clips of that are under lock and key in Toronto.

I'm confused. What's the Malarchuk clip linked above? It's a lot more explicit than the Zednick video.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:02 PM on February 11, 2008


that was just plain crazy. his blood hit the ice faster then he did. i was amazed he had it in him to skate to the bench.
posted by Mach5 at 12:05 PM on February 11, 2008


The Malarchuk clips I've seen were pretty gruesome. He survives, sure, but that doesn't change the fact that you're watching most of the blood in a guy's body exit in a hurry and he can't stop it. As I recall the thing that saved his life was, one of the team medics had been a combat medic in Vietnam. The guy pinched the artery shut with his fingers and held it closed until they got to a hospital.

Be sure you want to see the video before you do. Can't un-see it, you know?

Nowadays don't they have that gel stuff they can shoot into a cut/wound to instantly stop the bleeding? They're using that kinda stuff in Iraq and Afghanistan, I wonder if they have a stock of it behind every NHL bench?

If they don't they should. Think email would help?

And you non-hockey people: it's not always like this. I swear. Our sport is civilized, in its way. The fistfights even have rules.
posted by cmyk at 12:08 PM on February 11, 2008


What's the Malarchuk clip linked above?

I guess I'm totally and completely wrong. I'd never seen that before, even when it gets talked about on the tv. Thanks, youtube, I guess.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:10 PM on February 11, 2008


The meat hook? No problem. This? I don't think I can bring myself to watch it.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:13 PM on February 11, 2008


Any docs in the house know how much blood needs to be lost before it's too late? And is there a possibility of brain damage if too much blood is lost? What is the threshold between passing out and straight up dying? He barely made it to the bench before collapsing into the trainer's arms.
posted by afx114 at 12:16 PM on February 11, 2008


I posted this on metachat earlier, but I figured I'd share it here, since I was at the game, in the second row of the 300s, right by where he was initially hurt.

No one in the arena knew what happened for a long time. You really couldn't tell unless you were right in the first few rows, and things happened so fast. I thought he must have broken his nose or something, since I didn't know what other injury could cause so much fucking blood and still allow someone to skate to the bench that quickly, or at all.

People were calling/texting friends watching on tv or listening to the radio just to see what was going on, since it was silent in the arena. All we knew was that he'd been hurt, it looked bad, and there was a lot of blood. Eventually people found out it was his neck, and the mood got even worse. Malarchuk's name was mentioned a lot by the people around me... I remember watching it on tv when I was 8 or 9, and my mom all but carrying me out of the room so I couldn't see any more.

Everyone seemed very upset, some were crying, a few people near me left, and not just the ones with kids. They had the medics in the section next to mine, too, so I think someone there must have had a panic attack or become ill. What it looked like there was a lot worse than what was on TV. The trail of blood ran from the goal to the bench, and it took them a while to clean it. They brought out the shovel guys first, and then gave up after a bit of that and re-did the whole ice surface with the zamboni. And keep in mind, all the while 18,000 people are watching, no idea what's going on, no announcement, just looking at the blood on the ice and wondering if they just watched someone get killed.

A couple of the Buffalo players were just kneeling on the ice during the break. I assume they were praying.

They eventually did make an announcement that he was stable and being transported to a hospital, which got a standing ovation from everyone in the arena. I think, by that point, everyone knew his throat had been cut, although no announcement was made to that effect. The ushers all seemed to know and were telling people who asked.

IMO, they should not have continued to play after, even if he was stable. They didn't even get all the blood off the ice. There were still splatters all over the endzone faceoff spot.

I'm a Buffalo fan to the core, but the win was hollow. No way could a single Florida player have their head in the game knowing one of their teammates was being operated on and could die. The stress was way too much, it got pretty violent at the end, lots of really unnecessary checking and at least one call for slashing.

Buffalo's players were out of it, too, and pretty much looked like they were just going through the motions hoping to keep the score as-is and wait out the clock. The crowd was pretty quiet during play, and the cheers at the final goal and the end were a lot more subdued than the usual.

I think I heard at least ten people mention the word "cursed" as we filed out. Which doesn't seem all too unlikely given the luck of our hockey teams.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:17 PM on February 11, 2008 [12 favorites]


There is a bandage that stop bleeding instantly - I just heard retiring Congresswoman Darlene Hooley (D-ORE) talking about it his morning. Perhaps it should be in every trainer's bag.

Btw, how does Olli Jokinen feel after his skate caused the unintended damage? Has anyone interviewed him?
posted by Cranberry at 12:20 PM on February 11, 2008


Oops. Darlene is female, so that should say "this morning", not his morning.
posted by Cranberry at 12:21 PM on February 11, 2008


Jokinen quote from TFA:

"We shouldn't have finished the game," Jokinen said. "I saw the replay, that it was my skate that hit him in the throat. I think we were all in shock. I've never seen anything like that. There are bigger things than [finishing the game]. It was terrifying. I didn't think anyone on our team was thinking hockey out there after an injury like that. If it was my call, I would have gone to the hospital with him."

Olli is a stand-up guy.

Kelly, thanks for the 1st hand recollection. Are you in this photo?
posted by afx114 at 12:23 PM on February 11, 2008


(NSF Hemophobes)

So what are you saying, afx114; that hockey players are gay?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:26 PM on February 11, 2008


Nowadays don't they have that gel stuff they can shoot into a cut/wound to instantly stop the bleeding?

I'm active duty right now and as far as I know, what our medics/Navy corpsmen are using is called "quick-clot". It has its field/combat applications, sure.. but I don't know if it's the kind of stuff professional athletes are looking for in terms of medical care.
posted by crunch buttsteak at 12:28 PM on February 11, 2008


There's an interesting contrast between the way the sports shows handled this incident and the Malarchuk accident. 19 years ago, the cameramen turned their cameras away from Malarchuk's arterially bloody scene, and as far as I know the only clips of that are under lock and key in Toronto. I was a little surprised to see the Zednik clip repeated several times, even slo-mo on the tv last night and you-tube by the morning.

I don't know if your statement is entirely accurate - I remember some very graphic scenes of Malarchuk, but TSN - Canada's equivalent to ESPN - refused to use any graphic footage during their highlight package. They showed Zednik being caught by the blade and getting to the bench, but all from a distance and without focusing in on the blood. I thought it was rather nice of them, especially as I caught the highlights over breakfast.

I know there's worse footage out there, but I'm choosing not to go look at you-tube for it.
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:28 PM on February 11, 2008


afx114, I was three sections above those people. But pretty much everyone in the arena was making that face.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:29 PM on February 11, 2008


Jesus. I hope he's okay.

I couldn't decide whether or not to click the links, so of course I clicked them. And they weren't nearly as bad as Iw as afraid they'd be. Anybody remember Joe Theismann getting is leg broken on the field? I'm not a football fan, so I didn't see that game, but that clip was shown on every TV station every five minutes for about two weeks (that's what it felt like, anyway). And each station seemed determined to show the horrible scene from every possible angle, in slo-mo. Horrible. I commend the stations in the post for not showing endless footage of blood pooling on the ice, or even worse.
posted by rtha at 12:31 PM on February 11, 2008


So what are you saying, afx114; that hockey players are gay?

Only George Parros.
posted by afx114 at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2008


My brother played minors ice hockey. I was at a game about four years ago when he was kicked at when down on the ice. He has a four-inch scar from his chin down his neck, from that incident. When he skated off the ice, blood was pouring down his neck, and he was lucky that he was able to be brought to a hospital and stitched up.

He seemed to laugh it off, shortly after the game, but I wonder if he realized how close to death he came. An inch or two lower and he'd have probably been a goner.

Unfortunately, at lower levels, players tend to play exceedingly dirty. Olli Jokinen is not a dirty player, thankfully, or it would have been worse. Zednik is a very lucky man to be playing at the NHL level, to get the emergency care he needed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:39 PM on February 11, 2008


Olli Jokinen is not a dirty player, thankfully, or it would have been worse.

How so?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:43 PM on February 11, 2008


How so?

Zednik could have died or suffered brain injuries from blood loss, I guess.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:47 PM on February 11, 2008


Unfortunately, at lower levels, players tend to play exceedingly dirty. Olli Jokinen is not a dirty player, thankfully, or it would have been worse.

I really think this needs clarification..... Zednik and Jokinen are on the same team. Even if Jokinen was the dirtiest player in the world I don't think there's anything that would make him kick his own teammate in the neck, or any game advantage he would gain by doing so. Jokinen fell after being checked and his legs went up as he hit the ice, just as Zednik happened to skate over. This was a total freak accident.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:48 PM on February 11, 2008


afx114, that's strange. Do you mean the AP article on ESPN? I don't see that quote; I suppose they've removed it. Anyway, here's Helsingin Sanomat with a short interview with him in Finnish. Here's my quick translation of the quotes (which, on preview, are mostly the same as what afx quoted):

"The game should have been halted."

"I would've gone to the hospital, if it had been my decision. We told each other on the bench that 'let's win this game for him'. But I can honestly say that I couldn't think of the game in the last nine minutes."

"Blood flew out of his neck. I was right nearby. At first I didn't know that my skate had hit him, because I had fallen down on the ice."

"Then I saw the replay. I had never seen anything like it. I felt horrible. I felt sick."
posted by Anything at 12:50 PM on February 11, 2008


Weird, they removed the Jokinen quotes and replaced it with a press-release style quote from "The Panthers Organization." Why would they do that?
posted by afx114 at 12:54 PM on February 11, 2008


Someone upthread asked about what happens as more and more blood is lost; this article gives a pretty comprehensive description. For the nuts and bolts scroll down a little to the section on different classes of hemorrhage.
posted by TedW at 12:57 PM on February 11, 2008


Any docs in the house know how much blood needs to be lost before it's too late?

In medic class we were taught around 40% (~2.5 liters for your average person).

..."quick-clot". It has its field/combat applications, sure.. but I don't know if it's the kind of stuff professional athletes are looking for in terms of medical care.

Quick clot is fairly controversial. People say that it will burn you badly. Failing direct pressure, tourniquets are probably your best bet to stop bleeding.
That being said, a year or so ago my father- in-law was helping a guy who had his femoral artery sliced by an outboard propeller and quick clot was used to great effect.
posted by brevator at 1:01 PM on February 11, 2008


Btw, how does Olli Jokinen feel after his skate caused the unintended damage?

Aside from the quotes mentioned above, I caught a clip of an interviewer asking, "So how did you feel after the incident?", to which he replied something akin to "How the fuck do you think I felt? What kind of question is that?"
posted by Adam_S at 1:28 PM on February 11, 2008


Hmmm, I'm into black humor as much as the next web-avatar, but is the post-title really necessary?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:30 PM on February 11, 2008


Yea. If I'd known it was hockey before following the link I'd have realised how nasty and vomit inducing it would be!

Good to see the opponents and fans being sound about it, I mean, that's a hell of a situation! Hope to god (one I don't believe in) that he's OK. But hey, I'm incredibly glad I never got playing ice hockey!
posted by opsin at 1:31 PM on February 11, 2008


I remember watching the Malarchuk game, back in the day, and I can say that the cameras were not turned away. That giant pool of blood is still stuck very vividly in my memory. I don't think they replayed it to death at the time, but it was there. I doubt anyone thought to cut away until it was pretty much way too late.
posted by rusty at 1:44 PM on February 11, 2008


Failing direct pressure, tourniquets are probably your best bet to stop bleeding.

I haven't watched the linked video, so I can't speak to how he was treated (I'm guessing direct pressure), but wouldn't a tourniquet never really work for a neck wound?

Unless I'm missing something really obvious...
posted by quin at 1:48 PM on February 11, 2008


Regarding quick-clot, I'd be concerned about using a chemical designed to create a clot anywhere near your carotid artery. That's the direct feed to your brain. A clot forming in the artery itself has the potential to make things a lot worse than the problem it's being used to fix.
posted by cecilkorik at 1:51 PM on February 11, 2008


From the looks of it they just stuck a towel over the gash and applied pressure. Once they got into the tunnel, who knows what they did. By contrast, if you watch the Malarchuk video, the trainer runs out with a handful of freakin GAUZE pads, but apparently they worked.
posted by afx114 at 1:52 PM on February 11, 2008


As noted above, afx114, the trainer (formerly a 'Nam medic) pinched the artery shut until medical help arrived. I'm not sure the gauze did anything but turn red.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:02 PM on February 11, 2008


Only George Parros.

Don't fuck with the 'stache.
posted by NationalKato at 2:04 PM on February 11, 2008


Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against hemophobes.

I just wouldn't want my sister to date one.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:09 PM on February 11, 2008



I haven't watched the linked video, so I can't speak to how he was treated (I'm guessing direct pressure), but wouldn't a tourniquet never really work for a neck wound?

Yeah, sorry, I just meant in general. Obviously there's no good way to tourniquet the neck.
posted by brevator at 2:12 PM on February 11, 2008


Just out of pure curiosity, couldn't the NHL devise some kind of collar to protect the neck from the very obvious skate through the neck scenario?
posted by humanfont at 2:20 PM on February 11, 2008


Regarding quick-clot, I'd be concerned about using a chemical designed to create a clot anywhere near your carotid artery. That's the direct feed to your brain. A clot forming in the artery itself has the potential to make things a lot worse than the problem it's being used to fix.

Well, direct pressure is going to cause whatever blood is trapped in there to clot too.
I'm guessing that at some point after the surgery (and they may have to wait for it to be totally healed, not really sure) he would be put on blood thinners and thrombolytics (clot busters).
posted by brevator at 2:23 PM on February 11, 2008


Just out of pure curiosity, couldn't the NHL devise some kind of collar to protect the neck from the very obvious skate through the neck scenario?

Every kid who plays the game wears one. Then again, every kid who plays also wears a protective visor. I think the explanation for the lack of both in the big leagues is the same.
posted by Adam_S at 2:40 PM on February 11, 2008


Just out of pure curiosity, couldn't the NHL devise some kind of collar to protect the neck from the very obvious skate through the neck scenario?

They already have neck guards but they're mostly for goalies. They became especially popular after the Malarchuck incident, but I reckon it's more to avoid taking a puck to the adams apple than getting a skate to the neck.

Not to mention the fact that hockey players pride themselves on toughness and shy away from added protection. Even the first goalie to wear a mask (Jacques Plante in 1959) was ridiculed and called a coward despite the fact that today we would call a mask-less goalie a certified idiot. There were still helmet-less players as late as 1997 (Craig MacTavish), and while face-shields are gaining in popularity amongst the more skilled players, the tough guys won't be caught dead with one. The NHL even gives additional penalties to players with face shields if they instigate a fight with a player not wearing one. The general rule is that if you wear a face shield you shouldn't fight, and no matter what anyone says, fighting is a part of the game and will continue to be.

I don't foresee a face-shield requirement any time soon, and there's certainly a higher probability of taking a puck or stick to the face than there is taking a skate to the neck. Anyway, I'm sure the same tough-guyness will prevent any popular use of neck-guards despite this accident. A slit carotid every 20 or so years ain't that bad I guess...
posted by afx114 at 2:47 PM on February 11, 2008


Update here says the injury was much worse than Malarchuck's and that Zednik is lucky to be alive. He'll probably be returning home this week.
posted by afx114 at 3:04 PM on February 11, 2008


So you can stick a meathook through your face, and you can survive longer in space than you can with a severed cartoid artery, all good to know.
posted by HVAC Guerilla at 3:15 PM on February 11, 2008


the trainer runs out with a handful of freakin GAUZE pads, but apparently they worked

Actually: Malarchuk's life was saved by Jim Pizzutelli, ATC, the team's athletic trainer and a former army medic who had served in Vietnam. He reached into Malarchuk's neck and pinched off the bleeding, not letting go until doctors arrived to begin suturing the wound. (From Wikipedia)
posted by notmydesk at 3:34 PM on February 11, 2008


I was at the game also; the only part of Kellydamnit’s post I possibly disagree with is "No one in the arena knew what happened for a long time". I thought it was pretty clear that he had cut a blood vessel in his neck, as did everyone in my section, and we weren’t as close as she was. Apparently the color announcer, Harry Neale, said –almost instantly - before Zednick even reached the bench - that he must have cut his carotid artery given how much blood there was. (That was in fact Zednick’s injury.)

I agree that they shouldn’t have finished the game, although before they re-started the PA guy announced that Zednick was in stable condition on his way to the hospital. Still – they could have figured out a way to play the last 10 minutes another time.

There was a press conference with the doctors at Buffalo General this afternoon. Dr. Noor, who did the surgery, said that the fact that the artery wasn’t completed severed – and so hadn’t “retracted” – was key in saving his life.

I was also at the Malarchuk game and at the Kevin Everett game in Buffalo earlier this year. All freak injuries that could have cost an athlete his life, but thankfully didn’t.

posted by Eyebeams at 3:47 PM on February 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh man I hope he pulls through OK. I saw Zednik play in Juniors here in Portland dozens of times. It's easy to forget that the now-NHLers aren't goofy, pimply teenagers any more.
posted by turbodog at 3:59 PM on February 11, 2008


Eyebeams, you won't mind if I don't invite you to any of my games, will you? (gallows humour)
posted by furtive at 6:14 PM on February 11, 2008


I was at the game also; the only part of Kellydamnit’s post I possibly disagree with is "No one in the arena knew what happened for a long time". I thought it was pretty clear that he had cut a blood vessel in his neck, as did everyone in my section, and we weren’t as close as she was.
I think that may have been because I was in that area of the arena. I was in the second row of the 300s, so we were right above where he was hurt, but saw just the top of his head as he skated to the bench. I saw his hand was up, but couldn't tell what he was holding it to.

That, and I think it was collective disbelief. I mean, I thought it might have been a skate to his neck, but dismissed it, since what are the odds of that happening again?? And then when he skated away it seemed to confirm that, since none of us could fathom anyone being able to skate like that with such a serious injury.

We eventually found out by texting a friend who was listening to the game on the radio, but that wasn't until they were just bringing the zamboni out.
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:58 PM on February 11, 2008


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