NHS “too reliant” on Fax Machines. Requests to ‘pass the scalpel’ or ‘apply pressure’ must now be sent via text instead.

December 10, 2018

The machines play a fundamental role in surgery – with requests to ‘pass the scalpel’ or ‘apply pressure’ traditionally sent via fax. Surgeons say this ensures messages are relayed without ambiguity as verbal cues tend to be muffled by surgical masks – which can be problematic. One consultant recalled asking an assistant, ‘Did you just fart?’ on a day when the fax machine happened to be out of order. They responded by immediately removing the patient’s heart.