A recent exchange on Twitter reminded me of an incident that occurred when I was a resident.
There are many stories about surgeons throwing instruments. I was never a habitual instrument thrower but I had my moments.
I was doing a cutdown (a minor surgical procedure to gain intravenous access) on a newborn in the neonatal ICU. This was in the early 1970s, and the section of the hospital that contained the unit was not air-conditioned.
It was the middle of August. I was having some trouble finding a suitable vein. The instruments on the cutdown tray were all discards from the operating room. They were stiff and didn't work well.
At a critical point in the process, I put a clamp on a tie around a flimsy vein. Because the jaws of the instrument were not aligned, it slipped and the tie was lost.
My patience, still to this day not one of my strong points, was also lost.
I threw the clamp toward the open door of the unit. It skidded along the floor out the door across the hall and through the open doors of an elevator. The doors closed and the clamp was never seen again.
I somehow managed to finish the procedure.
Other than occasionally into a garbage can, I haven't thrown an instrument since.