A reader tip to ensure porcupine quills don't stray.
Here is how we keep porcupine quills in order after pulling them from our patients: We place some rolled cotton in the bottom of a bowl and fill the bowl with just enough water to cover the cotton. Then, as we pull a quill, we dip our forceps with the quill into the water-cotton combination. The cotton holds the quills in place. To dispose of the quills, we pour the entire contents of the bowl into the garbage. The cotton soaks up the water and keeps the quills together and not poking through the trash bag.
GETTY IMAGE/MARTIN HARVEY
Pam Monroe, practice manager