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Dr. Les Bisson


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Alert doctors, staff made difference for Zednik

By Ross McKeon, Yahoo! Sports

February 16, 2008


Ross McKeon

Yahoo! Sports

Dr. Les Bisson was so shaken by the spinal injury suffered by pro football player Kevin Everett on Sept. 9 that he seriously considered walking away from his medical responsibilities for the Buffalo Bills of the NFL and Buffalo Sabres of the NHL.


Richard Zednik sure is happy Bisson reconsidered.


Bisson was first to arrive after Everett was seriously injured during a kickoff at Ralph Wilson Stadium. That story has an amazingly happy ending today. Everett not only escaped serious consequences, but he already is walking again.


"Honestly, I thought about quitting after what happened to Kevin Everett," Bisson said. "I came home and talked to my wife and said, 'I just saw the most miserable thing I've ever seen in my life. I don't know why I do this.' "


Then Bisson remembered. He realized that his quitting wouldn't put an end to severe injuries on the athletic arena. The only difference would be that he might not be there to help out. And Bisson didn't like the thought of that.


Fast forward to last Sunday in Buffalo, when midway through the first period Zednik of the visiting Florida Panthers got sliced in the neck. Bisson was sitting in the fifth row in the lower bowl. Zednik had the amazing presence and strength to immediately skate toward his bench, where Panthers trainer Dave Zenobi was first to apply direct pressure to Zednik's open wound.


Bisson took it from there, pinching off Zednik's damaged carotid artery that was hanging by a thread. Zednik was fortunate not to have the artery completely severed because it would have recoiled in his neck and made repairs more complicated.


"That injury certainly could be fatal, very easily could be fatal, but I wouldn't say that he was close to death," Bisson said of Zednik. "He was talking to me the entire time."


Several staff members at nearby Buffalo General Hospital were watching the game, saw the incident and had a head start on preparing for Zednik's arrival. Bisson estimated he was in emergency surgery within an astonishing 15 minutes of getting cut, complimenting fast-acting security at the arena who kept a clear and open path for the ambulance and police for fast travel to the hospital.


"I wouldn't say that at any point we're thinking, 'He's going to die now,' " said Bisson, an 11-year member of the Sabres' medical staff. "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.''




Good thing we have doctors like him around. :wacko: I can't imagine doing the job that he does.


And if you haven't seen the Zednik injury, there's about 100 videos of it on youtube.

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