Pirate-Inspired Emergency Medical Technique

Aug 11, 2011, 11:46 ET from American College of Emergency Physicians

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Emergency physicians using the "Captain Morgan" technique had a nearly 100 percent success rate in treating hip dislocations, while posing less risk of injury to both the patient and the physician, according to a study posted online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("The Captain Morgan Technique for the Reduction of the Dislocated Hip").  The study comes just days after the real Captain Morgan's 17th century pirate ship was discovered more than 200 years after it sank off the coast of Panama.

"This novel technique based on a familiar figure in advertisements is a classic example of how emergency physicians are masters of improvisation when it comes to advancing emergency care," said study author Gregory Hendey, MD, of the University of California San Francisco Fresno.  "The technique allows the physician to remain standing on the floor – as opposed to straddling the patient on a gurney – while easily and safely applying the necessary force to the patient's hip to pop it back into place."

Researchers reviewed case records for 13 patients on whom the Captain Morgan technique was used. The only failure was for a patient who fell while roller skating, sustaining a fracture-dislocation of the hip that required surgical repair.  

The technique is so-named because the physician stands with a bent knee and one foot up on the gurney (the classic Captain Morgan pose, substituting a gurney for the keg of rum).  The physician places his knee behind the supine patient's flexed knee and lifts and rotates the hip back into place.  Other methods of hip reduction risk physician falls or back injuries as well as knee injuries to patients.

"Physicians should consider the Captain Morgan technique first when treating a patient with a dislocated hip," said Dr. Hendey.  "No parrot required."

Annals of Emergency Medicine is the peer-reviewed scientific journal for the American College of Emergency Physicians, a national medical society. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. For more information visit www.acep.org.

Related Link:

Annals of Emergency Medicine study

SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians