Thursday, October 21, 2021
76.8 F
Fort Worth

Man survives chainsaw in neck

🕐 2 min read

Elizabeth Landers

CNN

(CNN) — The calendar said March, but Monday clearly was Valentine’s day — James Valentine, to be specific — when the 21-year-old Pennsylvania man survived a work accident that sent the razor-sharp teeth of a chainsaw blade deep into his neck and shoulder, and barely a centimeter from a vital artery.

Thanks to quick but cautious work by his colleagues and medical responders, 30 stitches and an hour of surgery, a day after the accident Valentine was recovering in stable condition at a Pennsylvania hospital.

“He looks more like himself, he’s walking and talking today,” Valentine’s sister, Becca, told CNN on Tuesday. “We can’t believe it at all.”

Valentine was on his job with Adler Tree Service in Gibsonia, north of Pittsburgh, and was performing maintenance work on a pine tree when the chainsaw “kicked back,” Becca Valentine said.

The blade sawed into flesh instead of wood. Valentine’s co-workers were able to detach the blade from its motor, but they left the blade and chain where it was — in Valentine, about a quarter of an inch from the carotid artery that supplies blood to the head — and they held the blade in place until emergency responders arrived.

On the ambulance ride to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Valentine was awake and alert, according to hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Davis.

The hospital’s director of trauma, Dr. Christine Toevs, said the trauma unit had 10 minutes to prepare — to get ready for a man coming up with a chainsaw blade in his neck.

“We prepare for the worst. The unit expects the injuries to be catastrophic,” she said of trauma work in general.

Toevs said this kind of injury could usually cause major damage or sever the spinal cord, esophagus, or the airway. Instead, Valentine sustained most of his injuries to muscles and soft tissue around the shoulder, rather than his neck.

After Valentine was stabilized and anesthetized, doctors removed the blade. There was no major blood loss; the blade had missed that vital carotid artery by a mere centimeter, Toevs said.

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Related Articles

970x250_DM_Leasing

Our Digital Sponsors

Latest Articles

Texas Rangers
Fort Worth Business Press Logo
This advertisement will close in
00
Months
00
Days
00
Hours
00
Minutes
00
Seconds
seconds..
Click here to continue to Fort Worth Business Press

Not ready to subscribe?

Try a few articles on us.

Enter your email address and we will give you access to three articles a month, to give us a try. You also get an opportunity to receive our newsletter with stories of the day.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date with the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in the Fort Worth.

  • Restaurants
  • Technology
  • and more!

FWBP Morning Brief

FWBP 5@5

Weekend Newsletter

  • Banking & Finance
  • Culture
  • Real Estate