Yesterday, Brother Steve emailed:
Do doctors keep a sterilized claw hammer in the emergency room? I saw it on the news last night, and read it in the paper this morning, so it must be true: the guy got a nail shot into his skull by the nail gun, and the doctor removed it with a claw hammer. Was it the doctor’s claw hammer, or did he ask the guy for the one on his tool belt?
Sister-in-law Teresa, who knows more about hospitals than any of us California Tingles, replied:
I remember going into an operating room during an orthopedic surgery and seeing many tools like hammers, saws, clamps and other torture devices, all were sterilized. I don’t think it would matter with a nail in my head if the claw hammer was sterile or not, since the nail inside the flesh wasn’t the cleanest. ER’s have access to all sorts of stuff. I remember a retarded kid came in stuck in a school bus seat, they brought in the whole seat with the kid, and they brought in all sorts of tools to extract him.
Later in the day, Brother Dave observed:
Seems like pliers would be better than claw hammer for a nail in the head. I think I would use pliers or vice grips and pull straight out. The claw hammer tends to move the nail at an angle?
My two cents: I believe Brother Dave has a point. A claw hammer does not seem like the best possible device for removing a nail from the head. Having pulled some nails with a claw hammer, I must say they do tend to bend on the way out…thus increasing possible damage to the head. Also the pressure of the claw hammer on the skull might produce some bruises. Though I must say that a few bruises on the head might be the least of one’s worries if one has a nail in one’s head.
Over all, I too would favor the use of pliers in such a situation.
I do wonder though how a kid gets stuck in a school bus seat.