For healthcare professionals only

This Week In The Bmj

Cones explain mechanism of embolism

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 16 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0

Emboli that cause transient ischaemic attacks may move in the bloodstream in the same way that the cones used by Winnie-the-Pooh moved under the Poohsticks bridge. On page 1432 Knight relates how a team of investigators from Guy's Hospital, London, assembled at the bridge where Pooh first played the game of Poohsticks with Rabbit, Piglet, and Roo. After doing a test run, the medical researchers dropped 100 pine cones (painted red for easy identification) into the water at precisely the same point each time, at intervals of one second. They found that 31% of the cones arrived at one destination and 23% at a second (P < 0.0001).

Embedded Image