• Daniel Ouimet

Ballpoint Pen Emergency Tracheotomy?

Well, hold on... put your pen back together. Although ill advised, it's possible if you have 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 no where 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. 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.