Doctors on Merseyside rushed out to a DIY store in the middle of surgery to buy a tool needed to remove a metal plate from a patient's arm.
The surgeon was praised by the NHS trust
The plate had been put in overseas and none of the NHS screwdrivers at Whiston Hospital in Prescot fitted.
Surgeon Peter Mobbs sent an aide to a nearby B&Q to buy a £2.50 star-head screwdriver to do the job.
A spokesman for St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust said the actions were in the patient's best interests.
"The patient concerned had had a metal plate secured by screws, inserted overseas which needed to be removed," he said.
"During the procedure it became apparent that the type of screw used had a head which is not used in orthopaedic equipment in the UK.
"The surgeon had a choice of abandoning the procedure or acquiring a screwdriver.
"He made a judgment that it was in the patient's best interests to continue with the operation and so asked a colleague to go out and obtain a screwdriver."
The screwdriver was sterilised before it was used in the operation.