Ballpoint Pen Emergency Tracheotomy?
Updated: Oct 29, 2022
Well, hold on... put your pen back together. Although ill advised, it's been done by desperate folks with the presence of mind and knowledge to first modify the pen's components according to Dr. Albert Rizzo, Senior Medical Advisor to the American Lung Association. Dr. Rizzo warns emergency tracheotomies should only be performed when a complete blockage of the airway can't be resolved first with the preferred Heimlich maneuver and trained personnel with appropriate equipment are nowhere to be found. So, even though House M.D. pulled it off twice with his usual insouciance, you shouldn't be anticipating your chance to exercise the same heroics. Hollywood's portrayal of medical techniques too often substitute drama for the pesky attribute of accuracy. If you would like to read more of Dr. Rizzo's interview and Hollywood's tweaking of the truth, please see "Tracheotomy: Does TV Get it Right?" in the American Lung Association's blog, Each Breath.