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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Massena teen upgraded to serious condition after severing arm in restaurant accident


MASSENA — A Massena teenager was in serious condition in a Boston hospital Sunday after he severed his arm in a kitchen accident at Violi’s Restaurant while cleaning a large pasta-making machine.

Brett M. Bouchard, 17, severed his right arm at the elbow at the restaurant, 209 Center St., about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Massena police and Mia Violi, a restaurant manager.

After being taken to Massena Memorial Hospital, he was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital for surgery. He was upgraded to serious condition as of 9 a.m. Sunday, after being in critical condition since Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said, declining to provide further details on his condition or surgery.

The spokeswoman said Sunday he was “definitely in a good place” in regard to the improvement in his condition.

A nursing supervisor at Massena Memorial Hospital said Saturday that the hospital contacted Fletcher-Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., but that hospital, which is about 140 miles away from Massena and has a trauma center, could not accept the case, so the hospital made the decision to contact Massachusetts General, which is about 350 miles away and the option staff deemed best. The nursing supervisor described the scene as “mass chaos.”

According to his Facebook profile, Mr. Bouchard had worked at the restaurant since Jan. 1, 2013.

The first in a series of operations was successful, Ross Violi, co-owner of the restaurant, said Saturday afternoon at the restaurant.

He said Mr. Bouchard had blood flow in his right hand after the first operation to reattach the severed limb.

“That was a good sign,” Mr. Violi said. “We hope to know more in a few days.”

It was unclear whether the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be investigating the restaurant.

“We are still awaiting word on whether or not an inspection will take place,” agency spokesman Andre J. Bowser said Friday, noting the nearest OSHA office is in Syracuse.

Violi’s Restaurant has been operating in the Massena community for more than 65 years, according to its Facebook page.

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