The new must-have surgical tool... an IKEA pencil

275x250.jpg Surgeons say they have found a new must-have tool which can help them when performing operations… the IKEA pencil.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, experts from University of Oxford and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford say the humble pencil is increasingly being used in operating theatres across the UK.

It's claimed the little yellow pencils are used because they're better at marking out cuts in the bone for facial and head surgery than normal surgical pens.

However, they say many doctors are surprised when the IKEA pencils are handed out halfway through a surgical case… they probably get worried they are going to be asked to assemble a bedside table.
Karen Eley,from the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford, said: "As popular as these little pencils are, we were still surprised to be handed one halfway through a surgical case.

"The use of a pencil to mark osteotomy cuts in craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery is well established, proving superior to methylene, Bonney’s blue and felt tipped skin markers that struggle to transfer an ink mark to bone."

Unfortunately, it's said, repeated sterilisation means that some of the pencils split but even this problem has been overcome by wrapping silicon cuffs around the pencil.

British Medical Journal  
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