Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Patient: "I really don't like this cervical collar."

Me: "I know, but it's really important that you wear it."

Patient: "But it's not doing anything!"

Me: "Well, it is, actually. It's helping the bones in your neck to heal."

Patient: "Can't we just use duct tape for that?"

Seriously, what is it with guys and duct tape?


  1. Duct tape, super glue, a few popsicle sticks. Sure, that should work.

  2. Lol, clearly you dont have any engineering friends. You'll find engineering students using duct tape as band aids. The belief is that anything and everything can be fixed or improved upon with duct tape.

  3. Haven't you heard that duct tape is like the Force: There's a light side, and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

  4. Perhaps your patient had read this article from e-How about how to make a cervical collar with cardboard and ductape. Probably costs less than the hospital version.

  5. Basic engineering algorithm is:

    Does it move? Y/N

    Y- Should it move? Y/N
    N- Duck Tape

    N-Should It Move? Y/N
    Y- WD40

  6. Pfft. Smart people know to use Gaffer's tape, not duct tape. Gaff tape is stronger, tougher, nearly waterproof, and doesn't leave behind that nasty, sticky residue. It costs more, but it's worth it.

    [Especially when you find your double-ought power cable connections sitting in literally a pool of beer. While the gaff tape did come off in one nearly solid piece, it held for hours and protected the connections.]

  7. I second Moose about the gaffer tape. Once my engineer discovered it (during a community theater production) it was all over for duct tape.
    We currently have a bird's nest under our deck held in place with gaffer tape - it worked too - the babies took their first test flights yesterday, apparently unfazed that their nest had been engineered to last.

  8. Yes, Gaff tape. My nephew is an engineer, and the first thing he reaches for to "fix" things is gaffer's tape.

    My father (Navy officer) would use duct tape. Swore it would fix anything except a steam leak. You go looking for pinhole leaks on board a naval vessel with a broom handle. When the handle breaks, you have found the leak.

  9. duct tape is great for preventing ankle-blisters from flats, when you first need to break them in. :)

  10. No, whats with people thinking they should like medical treatment or medication. I hear so much "but I don't like it" in response to my treatment plan, that I literally said to one patient: "You need to quit alcohol and I do not want to hear you like it". And he laughed. Guess, this was exactly what he was going to say.

  11. fixed a hand today. he was in yesterday for his preop in a splint he had made with duct tape. i told him it was taken care of and he did not need surgery. fortunately, he laughed.