Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

Flashback Friday: Which brand of ball point pen is best for an emergency airway puncture?

7610269578_4017bb001d.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photo: flickr/stacyinbody

You've probably watched at least one dramatic television scene involving a doctor using a ballpoint pen to perform an emergency airway puncture (if not, here is a particularly awesome one from a Korean doctor drama). So, if you are ever in that particular situation, you know what to do. But what if there is a range of ballpoint pens to choose from... which will you choose?!? Instead of standing there with analysis paralysis, read this:

Airflow efficacy of ballpoint pen tubes: a consideration for use in bystander cricothyrotomy. “OBJECTIVE:To examine the suitability of commonly available ballpoint pens as a substitute emergency tracheostomy tube. METHODS: Commonly available ballpoint pens were examined and compared against two standard cricothyroidotomy sets. The pens were evaluated for dimensions, speed of construction of a temporary tracheostomy tube and airway resistance with differing flow rates. RESULTS: Internal diameters of the pens varied considerably. Time taken to construct a temporary tube ranged from 3 to 170 s, and in the majority of pens the airway resistance increased dramatically as the airflow rate increased. CONCLUSION: Contrary to popular belief, the majority of ballpoint pens appear unsuitable for use as a substitute tracheostomy tube. In this study only two pens fulfilled the criteria for use: the Baron retractable ballpoint and the BIC soft feel Jumbo.” Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: A novel method for the removal of ear cerumen. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: The novel use of wooden spoons for control of massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Manipulation of fractured nose using mallet and champagne cork. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Penises point to pelvic phractures (or, A new use for your favorite tool)!

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In