A Precarious Situation.
James Valentine, 21, was trimming a tree at an awkward angle when the chainsaw he was using kicked back and lodged in his neck, narrowly missing his vital vessels.
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.