Medical Horrors

July 31, 2023 | Eul Basa

Medical Horrors

The world of medicine is not a pretty one. From traumatizing surgeries to DIY treatments gone wrong, the following medical horror stories will make you want to take good care of yourself so you never end up in these situations:

1. No One Is Immune To Bad Advice

My younger sibling was continuously sick for about a year. The pediatrician found nothing wrong. They just said they had a weak immune system. Finally, after my parents insisted something was wrong, they sent them to a specialist. While the intern was just feeling around my 30 pound, 4-year-old sibling's abdomen, they found a golfball-sized tumor. Luckily, it was benign but found it was a rare type of tumor that could possibly form again.

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2. Not Afraid Of Needles

As I'm leaving for the day, this patient comes walking in saying he has metal foreign body in his eye. Then he really surprised me. He admitted it was not the first time for him. While looking at his chart, I noticed the last doctor used a needle to pick the metal out of his eye. On the way back to exam room, he tells me that this time, he heated up a needle and tried to scrape the metal foreign body out on his own.

Thankfully, there was no permanent damage, but he scraped 70 percent of his corneal epithelium off and then kept scraping because he said it still felt like it was in there.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongPexels

3. Trying To Absorb What We Saw

So this young female came in complaining of acute abdominal pain and a fever. We ran through all the normal procedures and came up with nothing. So, we pushed ahead and gave her a quick pelvic exam. As soon as she spread her legs, I almost threw up. I've been around some stinky folks and some smelly wounds, but this was horrendous.

We wound up evacuating half the clinic because the smell that emanated from her was causing people to gag in the hallways and waiting room. She had left a tampon in, forgot it was there, and shoved another one in, burying the first one. That tampon sat for what we guessed was at least two months, decaying.

Then, of course, the area around was extremely infected. When she came to us, she was in the early stages of septic shock.

Medical OMG EncountersPexels

4. A Long Road To The End

I was a nursing student and a nursing assistant at a hospital. We had a patient who came in with a blood clot in her leg from taking too much smack and passing out in a position where her leg was pinched beneath her. She was presumably found after almost two days, somehow still breathing. The clot in her leg formed while it was pinned awkwardly beneath her.

This patient was with us for almost six months. Normally patients are there for about a week, give or take a few days. During her six-month stay, she was losing weight drastically as she refused to eat. Her hair was matted and had to be cut off after many attempts to comb out the matting. She was probably 5’6” and was now down to 90 pounds.

She refused to participate in her physical therapy almost every day. She just didn’t want to get better, but was also very manipulative with the clinical staff, like only wanting pain medications but refusing to even have her vitals taken. Physical therapy pushed her every day, and some days were successful in getting her out of bed.

After she was strong enough to walk with a walker and the blood clot had been treated, she was discharged to a shelter downtown. Within 24 hours, she went to the ER at another hospital, and they sent her back to us. She stayed another eight months with us, with her same old ways—refusing care and not eating. By the time she finally passed, she was 68 pounds and had basically starved herself.

She refused any feeding tubes and, basically, any help the clinicians suggested she denied. I don’t think she would have even lived that long if it weren’t for the IV fluids. She was seen by a psychologist many, many times and would refuse their help as well. She looked like she was already gone from the moment she came in. I just couldn’t believe she was a resident at our hospital for over a year before she finally passed.

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5. When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go…

I had a guy trying to fake stroke symptoms. Claimed he couldn't move his leg, doctors examine him and he insists he can't move it. Five or ten minutes later I look in the room and he is walking to the bathroom.

When he sees me, he immediately starts limping and acting like it’s hard to walk. Pretty sure he was discharged shortly after.

Medical OMG EncountersFlickr, Nenad Stojkovic

6. A Negative Experience

I did HIV testing, and I once showed up to work super tired because I couldn't sleep the night before. This guy came in for a test. We went through the pre-counseling, and then I told him to step out for a few minutes while the results came up. When he returned to get his results, I told him to take a seat. The first thing that came out of my mouth was, "Your results are positive".

Then I saw the look on his face, and that's when I realized I had messed up. I said, “Oh, no, no, no, I meant to say negative". I almost gave the guy a coronary.

Medical Mistake Horror StoriesShutterstock

7. A Reasonable Threat

My parents went out of town one time and left my sisters and I in the care of our grandmother. I was playing around outside and got stung by several wasps. It hurt a whole lot and I ran inside yelling. My grandmother decided a swallow of Calamine lotion was the way to go. So she got out the Calamine lotion and a teaspoon for me.

I refused to take it and she threatened me, "If you don't take this then I'll tell your mom and dad when they get home!" No problem, I agreed that I'd tell them myself. Everything turned out okay in the end, but I don't remember my parents ever leaving us kids with our grandmother to watch us again. That was the day I realized not all adults know what's going on.

Weird Kids Caught FactsShutterstock

8. She Sprung A Leak

As an imaging tech, we once had a patient who was close to 400 pounds who was fairly well bedbound. To assist with hygiene, the patient had a tube that drained their poo away, but it had fallen out probably a day earlier. As a result, there was a pool of horrible substances trapped beneath her, brewing.

This was discovered when we rolled her to position her for X-rays. The smell cleared the room and lingered there for hours. Meanwhile, people went and showered and changed their clothes from the pervasive creeping miasma that was the worst thing I have ever smelt in 15 years working in hospitals.

Medical OMG EncountersPexels

9. She Must’ve Had Nerves Of Steel

My cousin, who’s a doctor in our country, told us about a freak accident involving a pregnant patient. She was rushed to their hospital because her belly was pierced by a falling steel rod from a top of a construction site while she was riding a motorcycle with her husband at normal driving speed. She was brought to the hospital with the rod still pierced through her. It was truly horrifying.

They had to saw the rod out and deliver the baby immediately after. Luckily, no vital organs were damaged, and the baby was in the right position inside the mom’s belly at the right time. Therefore, it survived and was delivered safely.

Never Told Stories factsShutterstock

10. Plan Foiled

We get called to a fall in the women's bathroom at Wal-Mart. We walk in, and the manager is FREAKING OUT. We go into the bathroom to find a white female face up on the floor. I'm guessing she weighs at least 350 lbs, there were two friends of hers standing in there with her. I ask her what happened, she says she slipped on a puddle and fell, hurting her back.

I look all over the bathroom floor, there's NO water on the floor. I ask the manager AND the patient's friends—"Do you see water on the floor”? They all said, "No”. I then tell the patient, "There's no water on the floor, ma'am”. She says, "I'm lying on top of it”.

We're going to have to roll her to her side in order to get a backboard under her and pick her up, I explain that to her. As we roll her to her side, I check her back for any obvious injuries, I then check her clothing AND the floor she was lying on—nothing was wet. I have the manager (who was grinning from ear to ear at this point) and the patient's friends look. "Do you see water on the floor? Are her clothes wet”? They all said, "No”.

We then roll the patient onto the board, pick her up, and place her on a stretcher. At this point, I knew exactly what to say to end the ridiculous charade. 

I tell the patient, "I'm going to be writing up paperwork for this call and your treatment. Part of what is going to be written up is the fact that you said you slipped on a wet floor, and that no water was found either on the floor or soaked into your clothing. This is standard, I have to write up what I'm told in addition to what I see. What you need to understand is this—if you happen to decide to take Wal-Mart to court, they can request a copy of my run report, and it's going to show what you said and what I found. They can also summon me to testify, and if they do, I'm going to tell them what you told me and what I saw, the manager saw, and what your friends saw. That being said, do you want to keep dragging this out and go to the hospital, or do you want to just get up from my stretcher and be done with it”?

She chose to get up and leave.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

11. Her Prognosis Didn’t Sound Good

I was a nuclear medicine technologist working in a PET department. I mainly dealt with cancer patients. Prior to exams, I would ask the patients why they are having the test done and for any other vital information. One day, a female patient told me she found a lump, had a mammogram and a biopsy, and it turned out to be stage four invasive ductal cancer.

Having confirmed the information I had on my sheet with the patient, I made the mistake of saying, "Sounds good". To which she replied, "No, it's actually pretty terrible", and she broke down in tears. I will never say “sounds good” again when a patient tells me his or her diagnosis.

Worst Misdiagnoses FactsShutterstock

12. A Desperate Attempt

This woman had wanted to have gender affirming surgery, but didn’t have the resources to go through the transition through proper medical channels. She decided to take matters into her own hands. She cut off most of her pre-existing stuff with a hacksaw and stitched herself up at home. By her account, she was able to recover from this without going to the hospital.

How someone would not bleed out or get infected is beyond me, so I doubt that this is the complete truth. Anyhow, once she had recovered, she cut off the rest at the base with garden shears. That was when it all went wrong. Apparently, she bled out and had to be airlifted to the hospital. She was transfused with several liters of blood and put on psychiatric hold.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongPixabay

13. Them’s Fighting Words

My dad works in A&E (accident and emergency) and gets a lot of people wandering in for attention.

So one time a guy is driven in pretending to be unconscious, the same guy who'd pulled this the week before—but they're not allowed to turn these people away. My dad, knowing this, says something like "Hey, isn't this the jerk from last week”?

The guy then miraculously wakes up and starts hurling insults and has to be held back. Charming…but makes for good stories at least.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

14. Poor Little Kitty

I just recently caught up with an old friend who is now an OR nurse. She told me she was preparing a morbidly obese woman for surgery, scrubbing her down and cleaning the areas up underneath the fat rolls that hadn't seen the light of day in God knows how many years. When she picked up one particularly hefty roll around the side of this lady near the lower back, she stopped suddenly.

She discovered what looked like a bone. She mustered her courage and continued to investigate. A moment later she uncovered the skeleton of a small kitten. The bones were fused with the still-rotting flesh of the sad little creature. Holding back tears and vomit, she walked around to face the large woman and said, "Ma'am, I don't want to alarm you, but I've just found the remains of a small cat in one of your fat rolls".

The lady's response, seemingly unfazed, was, "Oh! I've been looking for him!" Apparently, people that are huge develop rather thick calluses in their rolls from all the friction. This cat could have been clawing for life in there and she might not have felt a thing. Poor little guy.

Medical OMG EncountersShutterstock

15. Saved By A Sliver

A "regular" came into the ER one night. He was a heavy drinker, a petty thief, and habitually got into trouble with his friends and business associates, ending up in the ER on a semi-regular basis for falling over, fighting, or some other idiocy. He was about 50 years old. This time he owed a "friend" some money, so there was a collection call.

Not one to have much money at home, it ended in an altercation, and he was knocked to the ground, after which the "friend" put a foot on his neck and hit him in the temple with a crowbar before leaving him bleeding on the concrete floor. The regular’s guest called the ambulance, which shipped him in. He was fully ambulatory, meaning he could walk and was coherent.

He wanted to grab some smokes and eat snacks and didn't really understand why he was in the ER. Indeed, he only had some slight swelling, could use both eyes and had no real pain. However, we decided to X-ray him, and I wheeled him up. He insisted on getting on the X-ray bed by himself, but we didn't let him get up by himself. It looked like a horror show. The side of his head was completely crushed into little bits, and a major blood vessel was torn open.

However, he got a one-in-a-million break, and one of the small shards of bone was lodged into the torn blood vessel, just about sealing it. Without that, he would have been long gone before his guest got through to emergency services. He was immediately shipped to emergency services and came down to visit and buy snacks two days later, completely recovered. He was millimeters from losing his life, with just pure luck saving it.

These Patients Should’ve Been WAY More WorriedPexels

16. This Mistake Stuck With Me

When I was working as a medical assistant in an interventional pain management clinic, I was asked by the doctor to place a grounding pad—a sticky pad like they use for EKGs—on the patient's leg during a radiofrequency (RF) nerve ablation procedure. The patient had some lotion or something on her leg that kept the pad from sticking properly, but it seemed mostly well attached.

I didn't want to hold up the procedure to get another pad or clean off the patient's leg. The pad ended up partially coming off right as the high-voltage RF was being applied, causing a small burn on her leg. There was no lasting damage done, and the patient was very understanding, but I still felt horrible. It was the first time I had caused harm to a patient, and it could easily have been avoided had I just spoken up.


17. The Thought Was There

We had a doctor some time ago who was performing an emergency craniotomy. Someone had broken their skull pretty badly, but I don't know the circumstances. He was operating and a piece of the skull fell on the floor. Well, that’s not sterile, so he can't put it back, but he still wants to. My supervisor gets a call about placing the skull piece in the autoclave.

The autoclave is a 270-degree steam sterilizer. My supervisor had to resist making jokes and we contacted the right people who could tell this very stubborn surgeon that we don't steam human body parts.

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18. When The Let Ankle Doesn’t Know What The Right Ankle Is Doing

I’m a student nurse, but this happened when I was at the gym. The guy next to me fell off the elliptical, somehow got his foot trapped between the foot pedals and went sideways. The surprisingly inept PTs—personal trainers are usually well trained in first aid—were freaking out and this guy is really hamming it up. Talks of calling an ambulance are thrown about. I offer to step in.

"AHHHHHH MY ANKLE" He's on the floor grabbing his leg. I kneel next to him.

"Hey bro”, I greet him. He's so surprised that I'm there—I came up from behind—that he forgets to groan. "How much does it hurt on a scale of 1-10”?

"Erm…8" he says. I look at his ankle. There's a scratch on it the size of a penny and superficial, hardly any blood. Little red around the scratch, ankle not swollen. I ask him if he can point and flex his foot and rotate his ankle, which he can do with zero difficulty, not even a grimace.

I figure he's probably hamming it up because it's embarrassing falling off a machine in front of everyone, so I get him an ice pack, tell him he'll be fine, and tell the trainers not to call an ambulance—but the story doesn’t end there.

His sister comes to pick him up in her car and he limps out on the wrong leg.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

19. As White As Snow

My dad is an internal medicine physician. A young man in his late teens came into the hospital with a question about a condition he was having. He said his groin region was itchy and uncomfortable, so my dad asked him to remove his pants, so he could try to identify the problem.

The guy was African American, so my dad was shocked when the man pulled down his pants, and the hair down there was white. It turned out the guy had gotten crabs from his lover, and the little bugs had laid microscopic eggs in his groin hair, making it look white. The mental image still gives me the chills.

Medical OMG EncountersShutterstock

20. Everything Was NOT Fine

When I was 30, I survived two episodes of ventricular fibrillation before they figured out what was happening and put a defibrillator in my chest. When they put the ECG on me after the first episode, they thought the machine was broken because my heartbeat was so irregular. The second episode was caught on an implanted monitor.

The next day when they downloaded and read the results, the technician thought his machine was broken. Then his face froze, and he said, "Don't worry, everything is fine”! As he ran out of the room to get the cardiologist, I yelled back that, "It seemed like everything was not fine"! I had a defibrillator implanted about an hour later. I've had three ablations since then, and so far, I'm still here.

How Are You Alive?Pexels

21. Toughing It Out

I had a UTI for almost a year. Doctor after doctor, even female ones, ignored that something was even wrong with me. I was simply told what I was going through was "normal". I even had one nurse even tell me that she had the same condition and she just let it pass, and then basically insinuated I was cheating on my husband. I didn't even have a boyfriend at the time.

She insisted it would just go away. I had to look up my symptoms on the internet to even figure out I had a medical issue because I was getting no diagnoses from any doctor. The pain was so bad that some days I'd wake up crying, and on several days I had to wear pads because I was wetting myself. It wasn't until almost a year later that a doctor I sat with was finally like, oh, take these supplements and this cream.

I did exactly what he told me to do and it went away in a couple of weeks. Luckily, nothing was wrong with my kidneys, but since then, I started to realize how often doctors dismiss women's pain. It makes me not want to go to the doctor even when there are things wrong with me because I figure toughing it out is better than going in and being gaslit by people who call themselves medical professionals.

Worst thing on the jobPexels

22. Somehow Poison Oak Sounds Nice

One day, an older woman came in with a white towel wrapped around her forearm. I asked her what she was there for and she said she tried to treat poison oak at home and it didn't work and it was really painful. I asked how she tried to treat it and she said she came across an at-home remedy which she thought would work. When I heard what she did, I nearly gasped. 

Essentially, you make multiple superficial cuts or scratches to the affected area and then wrap the area in bleach-soaked bandages. Kind of like a bleach bath. It was day three when she came to the ER because it hurt so badly and she was having issues bending and moving her arm. My eyebrows went up at this and I asked to see her arm.

Her arm had such a significant chemical burn that areas were black around the cuts, other parts were fire engine red, and the skin was peeling. She was admitted for five or so days. She had an infection, debridement surgery, and would likely need skin grafts in the future.

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23. Not A Leg To Stand On

My wife is a surgeon. I get about an hour every night where she unloads the horrible stuff she sees. One that sticks out is the girl and her boyfriend, who were on a motorcycle. They were taking an underground turn from one highway to the next, and he was going way too fast.

He started to get close to the wall, so the girlfriend on the back made a disastrous decision. She decided to go ahead and put her foot up on the wall of the tunnel. Her foot caught the wall, she flew off, her leg broke at the femur, and the broken bottom half of her leg drove straight into her groin.

Medical OMG EncountersPexels

24. Sick To Her Stomach

When my wife was still in medical school, she had a teenage patient while she was on a family practice rotation. A girl came in who was complaining of awful pain for a week and a half. Her parents said she's usually not a complainer but ignored it anyway. My wife tried to convince her attending that it was appendicitis, but the attending said it had been too long for appendicitis.

My wife finally convinced the attending to get imaging done. The girl was walking around with a ruptured appendix for one and a half weeks. Apparently, her stomach cavity was full of infection, and she had clots in her arteries. Once discovered, the parents still didn't want to take her to the ER. However, eventually, they took her to the ER.

How Are You Alive?Shutterstock

25. The Minimizer

I had an elderly man who was in his early 70s (long term smoker) who came in with shortness of breath, trouble breathing, and a little bit of a cough and occasional production of blood tinged sputum. That last one is a bad sign.

He also complained of a little bit of back pain he'd been having that started about a month ago after he was helping his son move. When asked to rate his pain he said 2/10 ("not too bad").

He has no other history, always had good blood pressure, no cholesterol issues, no diabetes...has a little bit of anxiety/depression, unmedicated.

So we check him out. Reduced breath sounds all across, more so on the left lower side. Tenderness to palpation in the lower back, he jumped when we touched it, and said it was about a 3/10 when we touched it.

I check his vitals, his blood pressure is 180/85 (this happens with severe pain), he has no fever, and his heart rate is in the 120s (also happens with pain).

I get scans and labs. He has three broken vertebrae, probably pathological (caused by cancer) a pleural effusion (it was malignant, as in, caused by cancer), and a few masses in his left lung. Guy had stage 4 lung cancer that spread to his back, caused his back to break, and he said he had 2-3/10 back pain.

Either he was set on fire in his childhood and then beaten with 2x4s filled with nails then rolled in broken glass...or he was faking not having pain. This is someone who we would describe as a "minimizer".

Not the typical story you expected, I guess.

He got his surgery, and the next day wanted to leave the hospital because he had to do some paperwork and pay his bills. He didn't take any of the pain meds offered to him, except at night to help him sleep.

I hope he's still alive, was a really nice guy.

My Patient Was Faking ItFreepik,DCStudio

26. Your Incompetence Is Showing

"So what do you want me to do about it?" the doctor said when I told him about the right side of my body suddenly going completely numb. Turns out that two of my cervical vertebral discs had completely dried out and bone spurs on my vertebrae were crushing nerve roots in my neck. I needed surgery to replace the discs and grind down the spurs.

How the heck was I supposed to diagnose that myself?

Hospital Horror Stories FactsShutterstock

27. A Lot Of Work For Terrible Results

I had a guy present to the ER complaining of a "mouth problem." Something about his mouth just didn't look quite right. Upon closer inspection, we realized he'd done some DIY dental work. The patient claimed he'd been in a fight and had all his front upper teeth knocked out. He had no insurance, so he decided to DIY a partial denture for himself.

He went to Wal-Mart and got one of those fake grills you use with a costume and used that as a mold. He took his knocked-out teeth, ground them into a paste, mixed with some epoxy-type material, and then put that into the grill mold to set. After they were hard, he cut away the rubber grill, trimmed the new fake teeth, and then tried to super-glue that to his gums.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongShutterstock

28. Getting Busy After Baby

This has happened a few times, but I had a gal come in on a Monday after being discharged from the hospital the Friday after giving birth. So, basically, we tell ladies to avoid intimacy until a doctor clears them. Well, her spouse kept insisting and insisting and insisting, so on Friday night, she caved in and let him go to town.

He wound up tearing some stitches that were placed and she was bleeding badly all weekend long. She came into our clinic, blue in the lips and fingers, and her hemoglobin was a four when the normal should be 12–15. She didn't want to be a bother, so she waited until she started feeling dizzy all the time before she came in.

She got another trip to the hospital for a transfusion and repair for that.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik ,DCStudio

29. Waiting Game

The first time I witnessed a pulseless V-tach (ventricular tachycardia) patient, he probably did have a pulse and was just super weak, but we couldn't feel one. The guy was awake with no complaints other than being cold. He was as pale as I had ever seen a human, and he was that way for two hours before we got a cardiologist in.

We cardioverted him a few times, which is similar to using a defibrillator but has some specific criteria. But we didn't want to sedate him too much with Ativan because it was better if he didn’t go to sleep. We all hovered around his room, waiting for him to pass out finally so we could start CPR, but he never did. He just kinda hung out and watched Wheel of Fortune, waiting to literally perish.

Unbelievably Dumb PatientsPexels

30. Defending The Fort

My mother-in-law is a family doctor. I went to her practice to drive her home and was sitting in the waiting area. The place is emptying out and I'm there alone. The receptionist goes downstairs to get a coffee cause that's the last patient and she just has to do paperwork when they come out.

Then this haggard looking guy wheels in in a wheelchair while she's gone. He wheels over beside me. He's coughing and sounds like and looks like he’s not gonna make it much longer.

Anyway, last patient walks out before the receptionist is back.

A few minutes later out comes my mother-in-law and sees this guy. Her reaction was surprising. 

She says immediately, "Mr so-and-so, please leave". He starts on some crazy mumbling ramble about how "he's in so much pain, and he can't even walk anymore”, and a bunch of other stuff, but I remember explicitly the "I cannot walk anymore" statement.

So of course, she says something like, "If you do not leave I'm going to have to call the authorities". I’ll never forget what happened next. 

The guy jumps out of the chair (“can't walk”) and runs at her. Now it wasn't super fast by my standards, but he was going to mess her up by what I could tell.

Thankfully, I was able to get up and sort of semi-tackle him against a wall before he got to her. But the guy was strong. I couldn't actually believe what I was seeing.

So anyway, Doctor Mother-in-Law locked herself in the reception office that's glassed in. Apparently, this kind of thing happens more than just once, which is scary. Anyway, she does that and I let the guy go and he didn't seem like he was going to mess with me but I kind of think in retrospect I probably should have kept him tackled or whatever, in case he had something on him, but I thought I was invincible.

Anyway, he swears at her for a while through the glass and started banging on it. And it was as if I wasn't there. I thought he might come at me, or try to hit me, but no he was just boxing the glass in front of him. But the story doesn’t end there. 

The one funny part was the secretary opened the door to come in and saw the guy and spilled her coffee and ran like the devil away. The look on her face was priceless. But lunatic man was oblivious.

Anyways, maybe like five minutes later a couple of officers did show up and weirdly the guy kind of calmed down when they did. They cuffed him and took him away and then we did reports and like an hour later I was able to finally drive her home.

But she said the guy just wanted pain meds, and she saw that a lot. I still thought it was crazy he "couldn't walk".

My Patient Was Faking ItPikist

31. Saving His Appetite

I went in to have my private area checked, but when I went into the doctor's office, I was told they needed to reschedule because he didn't want to look at someone's private area before his lunch. I wouldn't want to either, but it seemed immature and very unprofessional to me.

Bad DoctorsShutterstock

32. A Real Big No Thank You

I had a patient who had surgery on their leg a few weeks beforehand, and the dissolvable sutures were taking a long time to leave. No big deal, it can happen. However, it was causing some inflammation, pulling and swelling. Instead of going back to their surgeon to have them removed, they cut one or two, and to their horror noticed pus in the gaping suture hole.

Half an hour of rinsing and removing this "pus" layer with tweezers and a scalpel revealed it went all the way down to the muscle. How horrible. But here's what was really going on. It turns out that body fat can look like pus, and the fat layer doesn't have many nerve endings. Yep, this person just cut away at their fat layer like, well, an amateur.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

33. Clear Out!

I was a nurse working in emergency for the first five years of my career. An old guy about 80 presented with a foreign body in his rear end. It turns out he was a Veteran and had a live shell about the size of a slim Coke can up his behind, probably about nine inches long. He was very stoic.

However, we had to call Australia's version of the bomb squad to assist in the removal.

Medical OMG EncountersFlickr, Peter Stivens

34. Totally Blocked Out

My father was getting a lot of tests done for his heart, which had been giving him some trouble. The doctor showed him the test results, a diagram of his heart and the major arteries, along with how blocked each one was. The best one was 90% blocked, and the worst one was 100% blocked. The doctor said, "Frankly, I'm not certain how you're sitting here having a conversation with me".

Quintuple bypass surgery followed. He's still alive two years later and got to meet his first grandchild. We keep a copy of the test results around as a reminder.

How Are You Alive?Shutterstock

35. Get Your Story Straight

We had a lady when I was in nursing school who had been in the hospital a multitude of time for various (actual) neurological conditions. On top of this, she had borderline personality disorder and was extremely manipulative. She had had a full neuro exam on so any occasions she could actually mimic a problematic exam and make you believe that she was having a stroke or some other issue.

Problem was, on an occasion I witnessed, she'd forget to be consistent with the side that she was feigning weakness or paralysis on. So she'd sit, only move one side of her face, one side of her body, talk funny because she would only move one side of her mouth (since the other was "paralyzed"), etc, but then would forget and move a finger or something on the side that was supposed to be paralyzed.

My Patient Was Faking ItShutterstock

36. A Series Of Mistakes

When I was a senior in high school, I had to go on a school retreat and stay in an old cabin for three days. As the weekend progressed, I was struggling to breathe more and more and couldn’t sleep, but I figured it was just bad allergies and nicotine withdrawals. By day three, it was so hard to breathe that I could hardly speak.

I just kind of walked around bent over and occasionally went outside for a smoke. I finally got home and told my parents about it and my dad decided it didn’t warrant an expensive doctor’s visit, so he gave me two pills and told me to take a shower and I’d be fine. Several hours after taking them, I still felt terrible and could no longer talk.

I drove myself to the ER. They finally gave me the horrific answer. Turns out I breathed in a bunch of mold at the cabin that I was allergic to and was having bronchial spasms, causing an extremely low oxygen level. It was to the point where I may not have made it through the night had I not checked in. The doctor called my family to find out what pills I had taken so they didn’t give me any medicine that would react poorly with it.

Dad’s response? “Oh those were just sugar pills; I was hoping the placebo effect would cure him.”

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongShutterstock

37. Maybe Try Anti-biotics First

I went to a house call where a lady was in a failure to thrive situation, meaning she wasn’t taking care of herself. She was in her 30s and capable of getting out of her bed and moving around, but refused to and would just go to the bathroom in the bed and have her boyfriend bring her food and drinks. She got an infection in her big toe that started to turn necrotic

Her solution was to use nail clippers to slowly amputate her big toe over the course of the month. She got pretty far too. By the time I came, about half of the toe was missing, with bone protruding at the parts where she got really far down.

Cheap Buy That Worked Out Well factsPixabay

38. Picking His Brain

A group of guys were plastered and driving around town. The passenger was leaning far out of the window vomiting when the car took a sharp turn around a corner and began to tip over. The top of the passenger’s skull was literally rubbed off along the asphalt during the wreck, leaving his brain showing. But it doesn't end there.

My friend, who was an EMT, had to PICK GRAVEL AND DEBRIS OUT OF HIS BRAIN. The guy was still conscious too. He said that human brains have a very distinct smell he will never forget. The story still makes me cringe, and I wasn't even there.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik,stefamerpik

39. My Numbers Were Off The Charts

Circa 2013, I was 466 pounds of goo, had mega diabetes, and was 29 years old. I had no job by choice, no friends by choice, and no life by choice because World of Warcraft had me by the nuts. Years later, around 2019, I had been progressively losing weight, hovering around the 230ish mark, when I started to get pains in my no-no place at times when I was not actively using said body part.

I had woken up in the middle of the night to what felt like a lightning bolt striking the peduncle of my johnson. I went to the doctor, and they wanted to check if I stuck my wang in a cesspool, so they sent me for bloodwork. I got woken up that night at 4:30 AM by my phone. Somehow the ringer pushed through the “do not disturb” mode despite me not having any types of bypasses on it.

The doctor I went to see that day was on the phone and said my blood work resulted in a red flag alarm, meaning a life-threatening problem. Normally finding cancer and whatnot is what causes this. My glucose was off the charts. A non-diabetic should be between 1–5, subjective to which Endo you speak to. A well-controlled and good type 2 diabetic should have blood glucose around 4–7.9.

Anything between 8–12.9 is high, and you need to go drink some water, and 13–19.9 is critical, you have to go to the hospital. Anything over 20 generally results in extreme trashed-like behavior where you are unable to walk, sometimes unconscious, and have a loss of bodily functions, etc. At the time of withdrawal, my glucose measurement was 44 at roughly 9:30 AM, and I hadn’t eaten anything or drank anything yet that day.

The doctor told me to hang up and call for an ambulance. Don't drive myself there, don't get a family member, it was time for emergency services. So, I drove myself over to the hospital. This was roughly 5 AM the next day, and my blood was measured again. It was 48. The doctors checked it three times, with three different blood draws, and gave me three bags of IV fluids between draws.

Yet, I was consistently at "you should be no longer alive" high numbers. When I fast forward to last month, I am now around 160 lbs, and my A1C averages at a 7, so very well-controlled and medicated.

Dumb PatientsShutterstock

40. Memory Like An Elephant

One time I had a patient who was complaining of severe abdominal pain and the symptoms of cholecystitis. Typically we would do a CT but based on his reported medical/surgical history and allergies we were limited in the tests we could do. He was refusing the tests we could offer. He was from another town and didn't have a physician we could get records off of. His blood work and vital signs were normal. It was all very suspicious but they admitted him to the ICU until we could figure out an action plan.

I'm doing his admission and he says he knows that it's his gall bladder because he's had issues before. He keeps apologizing for being so dramatic but he's never felt such bad pain. The resident orders him a concoction of the good stuff until the intensivist makes it up to the floor to see him.

Finally the physician walks in. I notice he has a particular gleam in his eye. I give him a report and then he does his assessment. The patient writhes in bed while the doctor asks him questions and palpates his stomach. The doctor says it sounds like a bad case of gallstones and cholecystitis. The patient agrees and asks for something for the pain.

The physician responds, "Yeah for gall bladder troubles like yours I would recommend it”. The patient stopped writhing and smiled. That’s when the doctor revealed what he knew. He said, "However, you don't have a gall bladder, I remember I took it out a few years ago when I worked at X hospital. It's nice to see you again”.

The patient's smile turned into the most disgruntled look I have ever seen. He sat up in bed, removed his IV, gathered his things and made for the door. I chased him down the hall telling him he was leaving against medical advice. His response was, "Leave me alone. Obviously, you know I'm fine”.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

41. My Diagnosis Fell Between The Cracks

I fell down some icy stairs and essentially hit every step with my lower back. I ended up going to the doctor a little while later because the pain didn't go away, and he said I was bruised and gave me ibuprofen. A year later, I went back to that doctor because the pain got worse. I had to start walking with a cane because my legs started hurting a lot as well.

After a referral for an MRI, I found out I had three herniated discs in my lower back. I had surgery about three months later. I still needed a cane, but the pain was more manageable. Two years later, I ended up back at the doctor because even walking through a grocery store was unbearably painful. The guy thought I was an addict and only gave me steroids.

I went to another doctor, and for almost three years, he would only help me with my blood pressure and nothing else. Finally, when the company I was working for was shutting down, I found a doctor who helped me push through everything and got ANOTHER back surgery for the four herniated discs I then had. I was finally able to walk without a cane and was finally mostly pain-free.

Dodged a bulletPexels

42. What A Celebration

I found and resuscitated a missing 24-year-old lady slumped up against the side of a burned-out house. I ended up seeing her at the hospital weeks later; she suffered an anoxic brain injury from not breathing for so long, and now essentially looks and walks like she had had a stroke. I asked her what the deal was, because she looked like the type of person to spill the beans easily.

She tells me that she had just gotten out of being incarcerated, so her and her mom were celebrating. She did two bags of some substance, and I suppose that was too much, because she "started to freak out." Then she went on to say, "My mom saw me freaking out, so she had me smoke something to calm down. Last thing I remember is hiding in the bushes. I guess you found me two days later in that field."

Weird patientPexels

43.  Someone Did A Hatchet Job On Her

My mother was an ICU nurse for over 10 years, so never a dull moment. On her first day, she was taking a break when a woman walked into the hospital with her head wrapped in a towel. The woman was speaking quietly and calmly and explained that her husband had a vicious outburst and threw a hatchet into her skull.

Lucky for her, he hit her in the forehead, the thickest part of her skull, so, she was able to wrap herself up and drive herself to the hospital. The woman was fine overall, and the authorities took the husband into custody.

Medical OMG EncountersShutterstock

44. A Cocktail Of Conditions

When I was 25, I was sick at home for two weeks. I had visited the ER three separate times, and since this was right before Texas got slammed with COVID, they just assumed it was COVID-related and didn’t really do anything for me other than also diagnose me with strep. The antibiotic I had received didn’t work. I had bad fevers on and off that eventually stopped breaking.

On my third ER visit. I checked in at the COVID check-in. I had a temperature of 104°F, my O2 was 79% (normal is >94), and was sent to another ER for a higher level of care. I was septic from parainfluenza, m.pneumonia, strep, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. I basically went into multiple organ failure, and my kidneys got it the worst.

I actually went into cardiac failure shortly after being intubated in the ER. I survived all of that thanks to dialysis and woke up in the ICU three to four days later with no memory of anything. I actually am an RN and worked in the same ICU a year later, and all my coworkers said they thought I was going to be a goner at any minute.

Dumb PatientsPexels

45. Drama Queen

Firefighter/first responder here, I once had a call for a "vehicle that struck a power pole" at 2 am on a major street. We arrive on scene to find a telephone pole snapped in half and a car that had crossed 8 lanes of traffic to hit this pole straight on. We found the "patient" lying on the ground next to her car, laying on her back with arms crossed across her chest clutching her phone.

Right next to her were her shoes laid perfectly next to each other by her feet. As I approached her I could see her squint one eye trying to see what I was doing. I know she was faking by all of this and called an officer over to "help hold C-spine".

I called her name with no response so next step was painful stimulus, grinding your knuckles into the sternum is an acceptable way to check. The second I said "I'm going to give her a sternum rub" she was awake. Right when we finished packaging her for the ambulance I noticed a man talking to the officers, obviously inebriated. That's when I noticed she smelled like she’d had a few too. It turns out the woman called 9-1-1 to report her own accident and the husband told the officers they were out tying one on, got in a fight, and she decided to leave even when he told her not too.

It was a fake attempt to take her own life to make him feel bad—so he pressed charges for grand theft auto and totaling the car.

My Patient Was Faking ItShutterstock

46. My Ex Wasn’t A Drama Queen

My ex-girlfriend was having stomach pains and headaches for about a month. I took her to the doctor three separate times and they said it was probably nothing. The fourth time, they did a "full-body scan" on her and found nothing. As we were leaving, she said her eyes had gone crossed. They took that seriously and readmitted her.

They did a brain scan and found a two-foot-long blood clot. They had to bring in a specialist and had the surgery done immediately. They said by the size, it had been growing for about half a year. She could have lost her life because every single one of them just thought she was being dramatic.

Medical MistakesShutterstock

47. Mom Knows Best

In grade school, I hurt my arm playing touch football over the noon recess. I tagged a guy way bigger than I was. My hand got rammed backwards and hurt more than words can describe. Everyone including the teacher thought I was overreacting from the pain. After school, I got off the bus to visit my dad's office at the end of the day.

He decided to use some twine and a Kleenex to fix it like a sling, while joking that I needed to toughen up. Well, as soon as we actually got home, my mom took me right into the hospital, where they soon discovered I had a broken wrist.

Strangest Coincidences FactsFlickr

48. The Face Of Self-Destruction

I am an ear/nose/throat doc, and while I mostly take care of sinus diseases and ear infections now, I had a hard-nosed residency, and we took a lot of facial injury calls. One day, we got a call down to the ER  for a self-inflicted wound to the face. Those are never good, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw.

A guy had filled his face with buckshot. He completely blew off his face, and some hero EMT somehow got an oral airway in the field. We converted the orotracheal airway to a breathing tube in the throat and closed the tissue as best we could.

A couple of days later, he had a 14-hour operation in which we used part of his abdominal wall and part of his leg to rebuild his face and mandible. We actually were able to make him a mouth in a subsequent operation so that he could eat some things, but without a tongue, it's pretty tough.

Medical OMG EncountersPexels

49. Everything But His Brain Was A Bust

I had a patient who blasted himself in the head but only managed to destroy all of his suborbital structures (everything below his brain). His eyes were mostly destroyed, but the remnants were falling down into what used to be his mouth. Other than that, he had a bunch of destroyed muscles and ligaments and blood dangling down from his maxilla.

To intubate him, we just put the tube directly in what was left of his larynx. You could see the gas bubbling through the blood. We later converted it to an actual tracheostomy. Obviously, I couldn’t tell how he was doing, but he was thrashing around, breathing really quickly, but no longer able to scream because his larynx was essentially destroyed. I think he must have eventually passed, but who knows?

Stupidest Thing I’ve Had To ExplainShutterstock

50. What A Performance

Former EMT in rural VT here, we had a call for an unconscious woman found on the side of the road. This was in the middle of January as well so time was pretty important. We swerved down the roads of the village and into the mobile home park, probably saw at least two cars on the side of the road due to the road conditions.

We arrive to the middle-aged woman lying in a fetal position on her left side just outside her home. Her family was at the door and refused to speak with us or provide any information. She had a pulse and was breathing normally, like she was in a coma. We literally ripped her from the ground since her clothing was beginning to stick to the Icy gravel. We load her into the stretcher with the help of two officers.

As the ambulance was pulling out of the park, my crew chief sat in the captain's seat next to the woman on the stretcher. Before I jump into the next part, I just want to paint a picture of my crew chief, he was a retired Navy SEAL that spent years in submarines, and ended up just gaining muscle after he left there. His biceps were the size of my thighs.

Anyway, the ex-SEAL gave this woman the hardest sternum rub that I could ever imagine. Here whole body was just liquid during this, and she did not even flinch. He told me that he only did it for 10 seconds but my mind swears it lasted minutes.

After this failed attempt, my crewmate started an IV to get fluids in. Her lips were a bit cracked, suspicious for dehydration. When the 18 gauge went into her left AC, I swore that she gritted her teeth. None of the other members of the crew noticed anything.

As I was the least experienced EMT at the time, I had the phone duty and spoke with the officers from the scene. That’s when I begin to find out what’s really going on. They explain that the family has had issues with the woman—she lives outside the house, transient—and that she has a history of just faking so she could receive possible stimulants from her friends that typically carry stimulants for their personal use (typically Adderall).

We arrived at the hospital by the time I got off the phone with the officers and didn't get a chance to notify anyone. Once we got into the emergency department, a nurse came right up to the stretcher and asked if we managed to get a temp. We only got a single tympanic temp at the start of transport which was a solid 37 C.

After transferring the woman to the hospital bed, the nurse suggested a rectal temp for a more accurate reading. After hearing this, the lady literally just shot up, jumped out of the bed and walked toward the exit. Security got her and the lady pretended that she was "sleepwalking"…and she normally treats this at home with her friend's Adderall.

My Patient Was Faking ItShutterstock

51. Don’t Blame PMS

I had been suffering from terrible stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation since I was 14. I went to countless doctors, and everyone told me it was related to my period. As I got older and the pain continued, I went back to the doctor and again was brushed off, given some pills, told I had anxiety and should eat healthier.

I did all those things, and the pain and discomfort persisted. Finally, I found a GI doctor, who ordered a CT scan. She saw a ton of inflammation in my large intestine and colon and freaked out. She ordered me to get a colonoscopy immediately. It turned out I had ulcerative colitis, which is a chronic autoimmune disease.

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52. Absolutely Not Medically Approved

A lady comes into the ER and refuses to tell triage what’s wrong, other than to say she had something growing "down there" and she would absolutely not elaborate. She wants a lady doctor and that’s that. So we get her set up for a pelvic exam in one of the OB/GYN rooms and call the only female physician working that night to come check her out.

The doctor is in the room for maybe two or three minutes before she comes out. The minute she did, we knew something was very wrong. She came with a stench that made everyone in the vicinity gag, and it was wafting from the room behind her. So here's the store: The patient is about middle-aged and had about 11 children with no medical insurance.

Her uterus had begun to prolapse, basically turning inside out and starting to fall out. With no money and no insurance, it was suggested she just put something "up there" to hold her uterus in. Without much on hand that could both fit inside her and stay inside her without falling out, she came up with a "genius" plan. She decided to stick a potato up there.

And what do potatoes like to do in warm, dark, moist environments? The "something" she had felt growing down there was ACTUALLY growing down there. It was the vine the potato shot out for sunlight. The potato had fully rooted into the woman’s uterus as well, and the potato itself was rotting, hence the stench. She had to have a full hysterectomy.

Funniest Comments Anesthesia Patients Made factsShutterstock

53. Crab Nauseum

When I was a paramedic student, we used to do rotations in the ED. A guy was brought in from what I assume must have been a horrendous nursing home. He looked fine at first, but once they took his pants off, the issue became apparent. His balls were about the size of a football and necrotic. It’s called Fournier gangrene.

He must have had it for quite some time as well, judging by the size, color, and smell. He had a stroke in the past and was now much less alert than his normal. It looked painful, but the worst part was the smell. It smelled like rotten crab meat. One of the residents that came in to evaluate him looked as if he was going to vomit and left the room within 20 seconds.

I felt terrible for the guy, he had no clue what was going on, and he clearly must have become used to the smell. When I went home that night, my roommates and friends decided to make appetizers. One of them brought mini crab cakes. The smell gave me an image of that guy's situation immediately. It was the most bitter irony I could think of.

Medical OMG EncountersPexels

54. This Patient Bowel-ed Me Over

A liver transplant patient came in with a closed-loop small bowel obstruction that she had ignored. Basically, a foot-long segment of her gut twisted on itself at both ends due to adhesions from her transplant surgery, so it resembled a link sausage. This cuts off the blood supply. She came in about three days after that. The bowel had perished, and she had a necrotizing infection of her abdominal wall.

Because of her immunosuppressives, her body hadn’t really mounted an immune response. There was a hole leaking pus about 8 cm above her umbilicus. She was told she would likely perish whether or not we operated, and she chose to try. She coded twice on the OR table and ended up having a fist-sized portion of her abdominal wall and two feet of small bowel excised.

She went to the ICU intubated with an open abdomen and basically a sheet of iodine-infused Saran Wrap holding her insides in. Over the next three months, she went to the OR four more times for further debridement until she basically had no abdominal wall left. Two weeks before she passed, I vividly remember how horrifying it was to see her consciously sedated with a breathing tube in feeling her bowels under the iodine wrap. It was the most surreal thing ever. She passed two weeks later from sepsis.

Medical Horror StoriesShutterstock

55. Taking It Literally

My mom's an ER nurse and she said once some crazy lady came in and complained that she had the whooping cough. And whenever she coughed she followed it with a loud "whhhoooOOOP”!

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

56. One-Minute Diagnosis

I took my mom to see a neurologist as her primary care physician suspected she had Parkinson’s. After waiting almost an hour, the neurologist came into the room, took a look, told us she had Parkinson’s, then told us to watch some YouTube videos describing what Parkinson’s was before leaving the room. The whole encounter was under a minute.

The worst part is that they still charged insurance...but luckily, my mom is on Medicare, so it didn’t become crippling debt. I did not report the doctor because I just didn’t have the bandwidth.

Bad DoctorsShutterstock

57. Winter Isn’t Cold Enough

There was one family who was overly cautious about their mother who had just had a stroke. I come to check on her and find her hair and head soaking wet. She's nearly on the verge of hypothermia because her kids felt like she had a fever, and as a precaution dumped cold water on her. In the middle of winter. She unfortunately couldn't say or do anything due to the stroke but I straightened them out quick about just what a cold compress was and when it was needed.

Surgeons Mistakes FactsShutterstock

58. A Hernia As High As The Heavens

I had a 95-year-old patient with an inguinal hernia. They had it for the last 25 years or so, and it was getting bigger. As a student, I knew I was going in to examine a "lump," and prior to the examination, I was warned by my assessor to refrain from showing any expression.

I went in, uncovered the patient appropriately, and was literally like, “Oh my GOD," but obviously in my head. I clenched my teeth so hard that I felt all my facial muscles tense up like never before and proceeded to examine this "lump!"

This "lump" was, basically, this patient's intestines that were protruding entirely through this defect. It was a HUGE hernia that was reaching their knees, and that's with them laying flat! As soon as I walked out, I needed to vent. I couldn't do that with the assessor, so my placement partner and I had a good long chat about it in the pub straight after.

The patient sadly passed.

Medical OMG EncountersShutterstock

59. Pandemic Patients

During the first wave of COVID in the US, I was a paramedic who worked in Queens when it was the epicenter. We’d get inundated with calls—over 6,000 a day—which was two times our daily average, and it was nuts. It got so bad we had a protocol in place to leave you at home if you weren’t that sick. One of the moments that stuck with me about how bad this was going to be, was when I got to a 48-year-old woman in her apartment.

She called because she felt unwell. My partner and I were shocked at the gall of this woman to call for an ambulance in the middle of a pandemic when hospitals were at capacity because she felt “sick”. She looked uncomfortable but otherwise fine. My partner and I were getting ready to deem her safe to stay at home when I decided to put the pulse oximeter on her for a complete vital signs assessment, and she had a saturation of 51%.

I didn’t think the machine could go that low. I looked at her, and she seemed sick but not critical. It didn't make any sense. I got another pulse oximeter, and it had an identical reading. I checked it on myself and my partner, and it was in good working order. I put it in all of her fingers, and again 51%. I looked at her again, and she was completely alert and oriented, with full decisional capacity and normal breathing.

Her lung sounds were immaculate. I couldn’t believe it. Most healthy people with no pulmonary issues have severely altered mental status and confusion when their saturations are in the high 80s. She was hanging in the 50s. With supplemental oxygen via a mask, I got her as high as 84%. This woman, for all intents and purposes, was cognitively at her norm and looked as if she may have had a stomach bug.

But in reality, she was beyond hypoxic and critically ill. We knew nothing about COVID then and seriously debated intubating her, but seeing how comfortable she appeared and how she wasn’t working hard to breathe, we decided to leave her be and just transport her to the hospital. I started an IV on her, and I felt my face go pale. I watched as the hub of the angiocatheter (the plastic holder of the needle I use to start an IV) started filling with the darkest, blackest blood I’d ever seen in my entire life.

It looked like chocolate syrup. It was then I realized we were in serious trouble, and this was just the beginning. That oxygen saturation, in conjunction with other signs, symptoms, and story, would ultimately be the big indicator at the time of how sick you were and had a high degree of success in indicating if you had COVID.

The lowest saturation I’d eventually see in a COVID patient would be in a 32-year-old guy who met me at my ambulance. He literally walked to my truck with a saturation of 42%. He looked like he felt sick, but again nothing about his appearance screamed he was dying inside. It’s been almost two years, and I’ll never forget it.

Thanks To These Wild Confessions, My Jaw Is On The FloorPexels

60. Do You Hear What I Hear?

I'm an audiologist, and it's fairly common to have people fake a hearing loss. With adults, it's commonly for worker's compensation/benefits. Children do it for attention or to get out of school for a day. They are fairly easy to spot...patients will come in, conversing with me very normally, but the audiogram will show a profound hearing loss. I have tricks to make them slip. I like to lower my mic volume to a normal range and mention that they dropped something when they're in the booth, they instinctively reach for it, forgetting that they shouldn't have heard it because of their "loss”.

My favorite is when testing kids that are clearly faking, part of the test requires me to have them repeat words. So I present them at a normal volume and the kids are REALLY straining to hear them…then I slip in funny words like "buttcrack" and watch to see them smile because they clearly heard it.

My Patient Was Faking ItWikimedia Commons

61. The "Pill Seeker"

I went to the doctor's because I had a UTI. I was in my 20s and I was well aware of what UTIs felt like and when I needed treatment. The doctor gave me a long lecture about pill-seeking and how the overuse of antibiotics creates superbugs. After I left, I got a call from the nurse, not the doctor, who sheepishly told me that my test came back positive for a UTI and that they would send antibiotics to my pharmacy.

Still Mad About FactsShutterstock

62. The Doctors Know Nothing

A patient was admitted for syncope (passing out), and it turns out his magnesium is super high, which slows your heart and can eventually cause cardiac arrest. He wasn't feeling well several weeks prior and went to a naturopath who diagnosed him with low magnesium. He started taking tons of supplements but started feeling worse. Then came the straw that broke the camel's back. 

The naturopath said to take more magnesium. His wife called an ambulance when he passed out and at the hospital, we diagnosed him with an irregular heartbeat. He was still convinced he needed more magnesium, even when we told him it would be an absolutely terrible idea. He left against medical advice after a day. Because we're quacks.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongShutterstock

63. The Worst Split

My mom's an RN. One night, a dude walked into the ER holding a bag under his crotch. He had been drinking with a bunch of his friends. The designated driver drove a pickup, and this dude and his buddies sat in the flatbed, speeding down the parkway. The dude, in his infinite wisdom, decided to stand up when the driver hit a bump. He went flying. Then I found out why they call it a "split".

He was carrying his insides—including his lower GI tract—in the bag. The guy was rushed to surgery and had his full reproductive capabilities restored.

Medical OMG EncountersShutterstock

64. She Couldn’t See How Lucky She Was

In my ophthalmology residency, I was called in to see a young woman. She was at home when someone came looking for her boyfriend, who was not there. The man held a piece to her left temple and pulled the trigger. The slug entered the left temple on a path going from posterior to anterior, completely severed her left optic nerve, went across the nasal cavity, and obliterated her right eyeball before exiting, leaving her totally and irreversibly blind.

It stayed under the cranial vault, and as I was assessing her, she was awake and completely lucid and able to answer all questions. We tried to piece together what we could to save the right eye, but eventually, it had to be removed. She was the luckiest unlucky person I have ever come across.

People SuckPexels

65. A Shaggy Dog Story

I work at a veterinary office. I once had someone bring their dog in, claiming the DOG is in excruciating pain…when they're clearly the one looking for pain pills. It’s funny on numerous levels.

First of all, animals don't fake pain. if anything, they go out of their way to mask it. Secondly, if you're not an established client, no vet is prescribing anything without doing a complete work-up, which can easily cost $300 or (significantly) more. Finally, most K9 pain meds are fairly mild and only prescribed in small amounts—a week's worth—so even if you get what you want, you've got probably enough in the bottle for one or two good highs, if that.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

66. A Tickle Under The Rib

I saw this one patient with a really odd condition. While she was asking me why she gets rib pain so often, she literally reached under her own rib and jiggled it with her fingers.  Turns out, there were a lot of other things she could do that she shouldn’t ever be able to. I attributed it to a variant of Ehlers Danlos syndrome, which causes connective tissue abnormalities.

I was so distracted by the popping in and out of her rib that initially, I didn’t even notice how horrifying it was that she could get her hand under there.

Doctors not normalShutterstock

67. Dr. Google Is Not A Registered Physician

I had a really hard bump on the inside of my inner thigh. I was a teenager, so I googled it and the first thing that came up was that it could be a cyst. Then I googled what a cyst was and figured it was basically just like a big pimple, right? Similar enough. So I should just pop it. Only this thing wasn't going to pop. So I figured maybe the skin was just too thick.

Cysts weren't right up to the surface like pimples were according to Google. What now? So I decided to try to lance it myself using an old safety pin. After drawing quite a bit of blood this thing still wasn't popping and I was getting kind of worried so I figured maybe I should just leave it alone and let it sort itself out without my help.

I found out a while later that I had swollen lymph nodes, so I unknowingly almost cut out my lymph node thinking it was a pimple-like cyst.

Google factsShutterstock

68. Pull My Finger

I had a guy show up in my clinic one day with a complaint of finger swelling. So as the story went, his finger got swollen and painful about a week prior. It just got worse and worse, and about three days prior to coming in, a hole opened up in the tip of his finger.

So, when the day of his visit came, he said, “By the way, I pulled something out of the hole in my finger yesterday with a pair of tweezers; no idea what it is”. I asked him if he had taken a picture or kept it, and he produced a tissue from his shirt pocket. I couldn't believe my eyes.

It was his distal phalanx—the last bone in the finger.  The bone had become infected, and the body did its thing and basically tried to eject what was now a hot foreign body. The guy pulled his fingertip out of his fingertip. A better magic trick I have not since seen.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik, rawpixel

69. He Had Been Through It All

When I was a student physiotherapist, I did a placement at a hospital, where I would basically work with inpatients who were gaining strength to be discharged; basically, bed exercises post-surgery, working up to taking steps, then walking independently. It was pretty simple stuff. Whenever I had a new patient, I would be given a full patient report with their entire medical history.

Usually, they were anywhere from three to six pages long and very thorough. One time, I was told I had a new patient, and the report was on the reception desk. I went looking for it, but couldn't find it. The reason was that this report was not a couple of pieces of paper stapled together but instead a binder—it was 48 pages long.

The patient was in his 90s, been through two wars, multiple car crashes, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, lost limbs, bladder infection, dementia, etc. You name it, he had it. Under the "goals" section was a sort of generic "return to walking and regain independence". I met him once, and, well, that was just never gonna happen.

I did a few bed exercises with him and helped train him to sit up by himself, but that's about as far as we got. He didn't make any real improvements; eventually, he was labeled palliative. He lasted my entire placement, still alive by the time I left. Just the absolute definition of a tough dude.

Medical Horror StoriesShutterstock

70. Don’t Write A Cheque You Can’t Cash

We get called to a 13-year-old having a first-time seizure. We get on scene, and the entire family is freaking out, except for the father. I walk into the room where the kid was—OBVIOUS FAKER. I turn to dad and have him go outside into the hallway, I tell him the boy is faking, and I ask if anything unusual happened today.

That’s when I get the real story. The father tells me he found weed in the kid's room, and he was getting on to him about it when the kid started "seizing”. I reassured the father that his son was NOT seizing, and he asked if we could take him to the hospital "just to be safe”. I said no problem.

We pick the kid up and put him on the stretcher, and as we head outside to the ambulance, he exhibits more behavior that shows he's faking. Inside the ambulance, I tell the kid that I know he's faking and ask him to stop, but he keeps on.

The hospital we take him to doesn't have board-certified Emergency Department physicians; they use General Practice and Internal Medicine physicians (a LOT of smaller hospitals do this). I bring the kid in and give a patient report to the internal medicine doc and the RN, and I say the kid is "faking his seizure activity”. The doctor had a problem with that—"You can't possibly tell that he's faking”.

I assure him that, yes, the kid is faking. I explain the situation that led up to him faking, and that I could prove it. The doctor says, "I'd like to see that”. Well, I had a plan. And, the RN knows EXACTLY what's going on and what I wanted to do; he's all for it!

So I say to the kid, "We need a urine sample from you, and we need you to wake up to do it. If you don't wake up, we're going to shove a tube into your nether regions, run it all the way into your bladder, and take a urine sample from you. Please, just wake up and give us a sample”. Nothing from the kid. "Okay, Bob, if you don't wake up in 10 seconds, we're going to start prepping you to get the tube shoved into your you-know-what. Ten, nine, eight, FIVEFOURTHREETWOONE”!

His eyes opened wide as saucers before he realized we caught him. He then closed his eyes, started blinking, looked around the room, and said, "What happened”? The RN was laughing, and the doc was a little mad.

My Patient Was Faking ItPicryl

71. And This Is Why We Wash Our Hands

Sometimes, surgeons are the ones in for an unpleasant surprise. My father is a physician and, although he's not a surgeon, he did some surgery while in medical school. He told me a story about a patient he had once who had necrotizing fasciitis—a.k.a. a really nasty flesh-eating disease. I almost wish that he hadn’t told me this story. It’s like something out of The Walking Dead.

The patient had gotten a cut while gardening and never cleaned the wound properly. My dad told us that he had to peel back layers just to get at it. First, he peeled off the bandages that the patient had self-applied. Then there was a layer of holy book pages that he also had to peel off. Layer upon layer, bandage upon bandage.

Finally, beneath all that, was the wound itself. No amount of med school training could have prepared my father for what he saw. The wound was covered in maggots. Apparently, they were eating the dead-tissue generated by the disease. He said that once they removed the maggots, they were able to begin the surgery to remove the infected areas.

Oddly enough, this patient had the maggots to thank for keeping his appendages intact. Because the maggots had eaten away the dead and infected flesh, my dad and his team didn't have to amputate the patient’s limb. After this operation, though, my dad decided to not pursue surgery and focus on becoming a specialist.

Hospital HorrorsShutterstock

72. Whoopsie

I had a patient with bilateral above-the-knee amputations. He was not fully conscious, and not really able to follow commands. His wife wouldn't allow a Foley catheter (one that is inserted into the urethra), so he was using a sheath catheter. It's exactly what it sounds like. So this guy, he was on the small side, and I'm not talking about his height.

His wife was tired of the sheath catheter slipping off, so she put rubber bands around his dangly bits to hold the catheter on. Well, sure as anything, they were too tight. The worst happened. His member became necrotic from lack of blood flow and the little thing fell off.

Paranormal Hospital FactsShutterstock

73. His Beard Was All Buggy

My ex-husband was a cardiovascular tech and did echocardiograms. One day, a patient came in with a scruffy, unkempt beard. He started doing the test and kept noticing something moving in it. Upon closer inspection, he had roaches in his beard. He called in a nurse, and they discovered that he also had a massive case of body lice.

My ex had to go get sanitized and had to wear scrubs for the rest of the day.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik ,prostooleh

74. From Mummy To Man

I saw a guy who effectively had an explosive go off in his face. Something about welding and igniting the air around him (like a gas leak.) A co-worker pulled him out, and the guy “walked” over a few steps to the helicopter before collapsing. He was young, and I first saw him earlier in his recovery in the burn unit. His co-worker was there, too, for burns on his leg.

The patient had head-to-toe burns and corneal burns too. I saw him again a few months later and didn’t realize it was the same patient until a couple of hours into my shift. I didn’t know before, but he had green eyes and bright red hair. He was talking and able to sit up and eat. He had been there for months. Seeing someone completely covered in bandages progress that much was incredible.

Medical Horror StoriesShutterstock

75. Anatomy 101

I had an employee tell me their spine couldn't stay straight and when they tried to sit up they'd flop to the left or right. Followed that up with telling me they found out that this was due to one of their lungs being deflated. You know... Because your lungs hold your spine straight. A highlight of my career when he finally quit because he "just wasn't about that cubicle life".

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

76. Too Close For Comfort

About four years ago, my girlfriend randomly developed a sharp pain in her upper thigh one night. She was in decent shape so it came out of nowhere. Her left leg swelled up and the pain kept getting worse. Being the self-proclaimed medical expert that I am, I somehow came to the conclusion it was a pinched nerve and that she should just walk it off.

I came up with a believable explanation and that was that for about another hour. We were visiting my parents, and the pain had been getting worse. My mother insisted I take her to the emergency room just to be safe, and she even offered to pay and all. I was unsure but decided it was one of those things where I should just take the motherly advice.

We made it to the hospital emergency room, and it was like 9 pm on a Tuesday. She got helped relatively quickly and they ran an ultrasound on her thigh. What they found was utterly disturbing. Turns out, she had a giant blood clot that got stuck in a vein on the way to her brain. If it had made it there, she would have lost her life, guaranteed.

So a quick surgery was ordered, and they found out yet another pressing issue—she also has a condition called DVT, and daily, self-injected shots were prescribed. Not long after her first hospital visit, she required a second surgery to sever one of her main veins, which the doctors then stretched and reattached at its two ends.

Lowest Point factsPixabay

77. Healing By Making It Worse

My cousin's wife got a terrible burn on her foot from a bunch of hot oil falling on it. She goes to the doctor and is treated well, and given good instructions. My cousin follows these to the letter, changing her gauze and keeping her wound clean whenever he needs to. All seems well and she's properly on her way to a full and healthy recovery.

One day, I walk up to her house and see her with her burned foot out uncovered in the sun. The hot, middle eastern sun, by the way. She's got tears streaming down her face and I immediately run over and urge her back inside. I then clean and cover her wound. It turns out she had fluid buildup and her uncle had told her to dry it out in the sun.

This led to me getting in a screaming fight with her uncle, who told me it was sound Chinese medicine to dry fluid retention in the sun. I explained he was encouraging further damage to her tissues. He would not hear it and kept barking orders at this poor woman to do as he instructed. I had my cousin take her to the doctor again, and they explained how to properly treat this issue.

After it was explained to him by a professional, my cousin banned the uncle from visiting until she healed.

Legal Drama FactsUnsplash

78. That’s A Wrap

I’m an EMT. One day my partner and I got called to a house for someone who was “unable to be ambulated”. This is a common thing we get dispatched to, and it usually means someone is too weak to get out of a recliner or out of bed. We expected to go and help this person to their feet and maybe get a refusal or transport them to the hospital based on an assessment.

When we arrived on the scene, an officer was there, along with a neighbor who told us it was really bad in there. The second I walked through the door of the house, the smell hit me. I have smelled many decaying bodies that were not this pungent. We walked into the living room to find a man lying on the floor, saying he could not get up.

His legs were wrapped in what appeared to be plastic wrap and plastic bags. You could see the wrappings filled and dripping with brown liquid. The guy said he had started getting sores on his feet, and rather than go to a doctor, he elected to just wrap them up in plastic wrap. I don’t know how long he had been doing this, but it had reached a point where he could no longer gather the strength to get up, and he was extremely septic.

It was HORRIBLE. We carried him out of the house, and I was down at the legs, and the gangrene juice was dripping all over me. The back of the ambulance smelled horrific for days. We dropped him off at the hospital, and I went outside and puked. I see nasty stuff every day, but this was by far the nastiest.

When they took the wrappings off in the ED, the nurses told me both his legs were completely black and rotten up to the knees. They had to amputate both legs up to the hip, and they found the gangrene had gone up into his pelvis, so they had to transfer him out for more surgery.

Medical OMG EncountersPexels

79. Defying The Odds

I work in home care, and we just took on a new client. She's 88 years old, has COPD, and has been on 24-hour oxygen for at least a year. Four months ago, her husband of 60 years passed. She got COVID, COVID pneumonia, blood clots from COVID, then bacterial pneumonia. Any one of these things should have done her in, considering her age and the COPD.

She really hasn't even been able to grieve the loss of her husband. But here she is, finally at home, awake and alert and needing some basic companionship and caregiving because she lost a lot of strength and endurance while hospitalized. She's smart, funny, and fairly independent, and I'm really glad we get the opportunity to help her.

Worst Misdiagnoses FactsShutterstock

80. The Pee Thief

This patient comes in saying she has terrible abdominal pain 10/10. I say okay...and start to examine her. She immediately starts screaming the moment I touch her belly. But look, I've seen patients in terrible pain, and nobody has ever yelled in pain with their eyes open. She wasn't even tensing or anything.

It was a really sad case though, she has a history of coming in saying she was pregnant when the urine and blood test was clearly negative. But then she took it to a disturbing level.

In one case she even tried to steal a pregnant patient's urine. She got caught pretty fast. She was on psych follow-up, not sure what the diagnosis was but my guess would have been Munchausen's. Anyway, we sent her home without pain meds.

My Patient Was Faking ItFreepik, benzoix

81. My Boss Is A Heartbreaker

I had a doctor that constantly ignored patients in serious pain. He thought all of them were faking it to get pain killers. After a senior director at Microsoft had a heart attack in our ER that he refused to do an EKG on didn't survive, I went to management and told them what I had seen.

Time factsPixabay

82. Maybe A Good Idea In The Olden Days

I work as a home nurse for a very isolated part of Idaho. I generally check on people who live very far from civilization, people who don't get any medical care. One time, I go into a house and an old man is sitting on a chair. He told me to come closer as he could not get up. He somehow had cut his leg badly a few weeks before. I wish I hadn't gone closer. 

To prevent infection, he had applied maggots to the wound. There must have been dozens of maggots in this wound and I had to go outside to throw up. I had to call for assistance, and the guy lived.

Hospital Horror Stories FactsShutterstock

83. Hoping For A Miracle

My father was a plastic surgeon in the emergency room of a major southern city.  A family of four was driving on an urban highway that passed right by the hospital. The parents were in the front seats and their two young children—boy and girl, 3–5 years old—were in the back seat, apparently unrestrained by child seats or seat belts.

Coming from the opposite direction was a speeding and swerving woman driver in the throes of a psychotic episode. As the two cars approached from opposite directions, she swerved into the median and hit a barrier that launched her into the air upside down. Her car landed on the roof of the family's car, bending the roof of the rear portion of the passenger compartment downward and backward.

It was bent in such a way that left the mother and father unscathed. But tragically, the children met truly terrible ends. The parents carried them into the emergency room. It was an unspeakable sight—and obviously, nothing could be done.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik,wavebrakemedia

84. Granny Wasn’t About To Go

I was a paramedic and got called for a coronary. A 90-year-old woman had been down on the back porch for an unknown time. Her medical history was a mile long. The monitor showed asystole (flatline), and her extremities were starting to get cold. Her core was still warm, and the family swore she was fine ten minutes prior. So, by our protocol, she was still viable, and thus, we started to work on her, but it seemed obvious she was gone.

The entire code was a mess. It took forever to get an IV, her airway was full of vomit, and the suction device didn't work. An intubation attempt went into the stomach. The rookie dumped out the meds box—it was terrible. We worked on her for a half hour with no change. The woman was gone. We called the hospital and received orders to end resuscitation.

We explained to the family that we'd done all we could but that grandma had perished. We then stopped CPR. As soon as we took our hands off the woman's chest, the monitor showed a rhythm. We checked for a pulse, and it was bounding. We loaded the woman into the ambulance, called the hospital to say “just kidding” about the pronouncement, and screamed off to the hospital.

Normally when we get pulses back after a cardiac case, we're just bringing back a vegetable. The percentage of people who actually leave the hospital with any kind of quality of life is minuscule. Most of the time, they just sit in the ICU for a few days and then lose their life again permanently. Not this woman. A few months later, we get called out to the same address and find the same woman sitting on the couch. She had some deficits and memory loss and needed a wheelchair, but she was alert and home with her family. It was the strangest thing I ever saw.

Deathbed Confessions FactsShutterstock

85. Gotcha

I heard this from my ER physician friend. A known malingerer comes into the ER claiming to be paralyzed on one side of her body and demanding stroke meds. My friend examines the malingerer and asks, “Hey, how did you get that bruise under your arm”?

The malingerer lifts up her “paralyzed” arm to look for the non-existent bruise.

My friend is very clever.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

86. Feel My Pain

My friend had a horrible moment when he was going in for surgery. Two minutes into it, the doctors noticed his pupils dilating or something. He said it was horrible, he could feel the scalpel cutting into his flesh, the agonizing pain, and the oxygen thing only gave him air every few minutes. They noticed he wasn't under and fixed it. But then the dark truth came out.

Turns out, the anesthesiologist who put him under was his ex-girlfriend, though no one knew about it, and she likely did it on purpose. The surgery went well, the recovery was a bit longer than expected, but he's all good now.

Doctor oh God noUnsplash

87. Can’t Handle Everything Yourself

There was a guy who had a rare condition that required bloodletting, but he didn't have the money to afford the treatment as often as he would need it. Like any rational human being, he decided to build an apparatus at home using a shop vac, Mason jars, an IV needle, and surgical tubing. Surprisingly, he had no issues for a few weeks.

He set the vacuum to pull the blood through the tubing via the needle and drain into the Mason jars. No big deal. Except it all went wrong in an instant. One day he isn't paying attention and sets the vac to pump instead of pull. Dude switched it off after a few seconds, but he still had a massive air embolism. He's very lucky he didn't die, he “just” had a major stroke. He goes in for treatment now the last I heard.

Coma wake upShutterstock

88. Making Its Way Out

I’m a CNA at the moment, and this was the strangest thing I have ever seen. At work, we had a payroll woman who in a previous marriage had been blasted in the back of the head. When it came to removing the slug, the surgeons decided it was too risky to remove.

It hadn’t caused any major damage to the brain, and she would be able to function normally as long as it healed properly. One day, I was in her office, picking up my paycheck. We were chatting as usual when suddenly she started coughing sporadically.

I patted her on the back to help, and the next thing I knew, she coughed up the round into her hand! I was in shock; the slug over the years had slowly moved its way out of the body.  She was fine after and kept the metal item as memorabilia.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik, stefamerpik

89. It Was Almost The Nail In His Coffin

We had a patient come in after mowing the lawn. The patient said something was knocked up by the lawn mower and hit him in the head. He didn't think much of it and finished cutting the grass. He still had a headache a few hours later, so he came to the ER. We CAT scanned his head, and there was an entire nail embedded in his brain. He had the tiniest abrasion to his forehead and no neuro deficits. He had no idea. Everyone was absolutely dumbfounded.

Nightmare neighborsPexels

90. A Vicious Cycle

ER doctor. I had the worst person in the world with fake seizures that could only be cured by Dilaudid. Seizures aren’t treated by opiates. This lady was insufferable and she knew all the rules she would make sure her enabling husband (IQ 50) came in so she had a driver so she could get pain pills.

If we didn’t give her any he would shut that place down screaming and threatening, while she would spy the parking lot to see which doctors were working and would believe her. Well, one day I had it.

She had brought her son (IQ normal) to the ER and she started fake seizing and screaming. I just let her go. Then she got threatening so I called security and I was the first person to ever get her removed. She then proceeds to walk out the doors with her son and not fifteen minutes later she is back in the ER as a trauma, full collar and all.

She says she’s going to sue me, that she went outside, had a seizure, fell, and is in more pain. So I stop her right there and walk to security around the corner. I know just what to do. I get the security tape. She very clearly looked around, made sure no one was looking, then gently laid down in a mangled position. In the video it looked like her son said “Forget this” and he literally walks away and walks several miles home.

I went and cleared her from her c-collar and backboard after calling the authorities. They came and didn’t do anything. She was back two days later.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

91. Benadryl-Denying Betsy

This is what a nurse told me after I requested a Benadryl for intense itching post-C-section: "I can't give you anything for random itching. You are breastfeeding and it will cause drowsiness for you and the baby. You'll have to suck it up". She handed my son over to me from his crib and told me skin-on-skin was best. I was burning up and my son, while content, wasn't latching or otherwise interested in eating.

She put the crib just far enough that I couldn't move over to put him back. Every part of my skin burned like stinging nettles. 45 minutes later, I was covered in hives, crying from hormones, itching all over, and I really thought I was having an allergic reaction to something. My son was falling asleep on me while I was itching until my arms bled.

I rang my bell. A different nurse came in and said, "Oh good Lord, you are having a reaction to something! Poor thing, you look uncomfortable, let's get you sorted out!" I asked her about breastfeeding and she was like, "The baby won't starve and you won't be feeling much if you're scratching your chest off now, will ya?" She gave me Benadryl on my IV and a bit of extra pain medication.

I guess I had some weirdo immune response; not an actual reaction to anything like medication or whatnot. She took my son and dressed him all up in a couple of outfits that I brought (he was born on Hallowe'en) and she kept him up at the nurses' station for about 90 minutes while I slept. When my husband came by later (he was taking my older son to my brother's after grabbing him from daycare), the nurses were all taking turns holding my eight-hour-old son and I slept a solid three hours.

I felt like a million bucks. I didn't see Benadryl-Denying Betsy again.

Medical Blunders factsShutterstock

92. Where Did He Learn That?

I had a patient come into the ER with a makeshift bandage on his shin. He had fallen on some rocks while hiking and it left a three-inch-long, half-inch-deep gash in his leg. I go to pull the bandage off. As I’m peeling it away, I fought the urge to scream. I notice the skin is completely black and there are dark chunks of fungus falling out of the wound.

It looked necrotic, like it had been left alone for a week. I look at this guy like he’s crazy as he tells me the wound is only a few hours old. That's when it all clicked, thank God. He’s pretty proud as he explains that he created a makeshift poultice by chewing up leaves and moss, mixing it with river mud and stuffing it into his leg. That’s what all the black mossy stuff was.

Surgeons Mistakes FactsShutterstock

93. The Ugly Tooth

I was a children’s nurse. On my first week in the pediatric ED, we had a young girl, about six or seven, come in with a really swollen jaw and face. The poor girl was unable to move her jaw without intense pain and hadn’t been able to eat for several days.

It turned out she had only just started cleaning her teeth for the first time ever, and managed to develop several abscesses and rotten teeth in the process. To make it worse, her mom told us she was recovering from the same procedures to remove most of her teeth because of almost the same thing.

They didn’t want to bother going to the GP,  as they thought she was just messing about to get out of school.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik, DCStudio

94. He Was On A Slippery Slope

My ex-boyfriend is a ski instructor. He told me that one day, all the slopes were extremely icy, and many people were coming in with injuries. He had fallen badly and returned to the ski lodge. He was checked out and said he felt fine. Fortunately, a paramedic happened to be looking at him when his helmet swung open on the side because it was very badly cracked.

They took a nine-year-old girl with a broken femur off a stretcher and put him on it, and took him to the hospital immediately. They found he had broken his neck and needed immediate surgery. Amazingly, he is mostly fine, except now he has acid reflux for some reason.

How Are You Alive?Shutterstock

95. Jumping The Queue

We had a woman that claimed she couldn't get up after a fall in her house. We arrived to her entire house being locked, so we called through a window that was cracked to see if there was any other way inside besides breaking through her screen. She proceeds to stand up, go to the front door, unlock the door, walk back to where she was and lay back down.

We did a generic checkup and there was clearly nothing wrong. When she said she didn't want to go to the hospital and we were about to leave, she stopped us and asked us to call Comcast for her since we "are the EMS and are a higher priority".

My Patient Was Faking ItShutterstock

96. His Physician Left Him Sore

A guy came into our ICU and was very septic but still talking. He had visited his primary care physician complaining of a sore throat for a couple of days and was dismissed without any intervention since he didn't appear to have strep throat or the flu. When he reached the ICU, he had pretty severe abdominal discomfort, so we sent him for a CT scan.

As the scan was finishing, he coded, had to be intubated, and had a multi-organ failure. The CT scan was like a horror movie. There was a whole bunch of stuff in his peritoneal cavity. His wife told us that he had choked on an ice cube the day before seeing his primary care doctor. Evidently, he had swallowed a whole double half-moon-shaped ice cube that perforated his esophagus with a HUGE 4.25-inch tear.

This allowed a significant portion of his swallowed food and drinks to get into his peritoneal cavity instead of his stomach. To make things worse, he had some reflux that allowed stomach acid to get in there as well. Once we realized what was going on, he went for extensive washout and exploratory surgeries to repair the damage to his esophagus and other organs. Thankfully, he made a full recovery, but he was very close to not making it at all.

Disturbing Deathbed Moments HeaderShutterstock

97. Handles Influenza And Brain Cells

When I was in med school on my family medicine rotation, I was sent in to see a middle-aged woman with complaints of sinus congestion. Sure enough, from the very beginning, I can tell she's really stopped up with her nasally voice, and my history and exam are consistent with your run-of-the-mill viral upper respiratory infection.

I begin educating her on symptomatic management and the following exchange ensues: Patient: "Do you think it might be the flu?" Me: "It's possible but unlikely; it's really out of the typical season." Patient: "Yeah, I guess I wasn't sure; I've been spraying Lysol everywhere and it doesn't seem to be doing any good, and it says it removes the flu bug."

Me: "Well, that's something that could help disinfect the house and keep it from spreading."Patient: "I guess, I just wish it didn't burn so much" Me: "…what do you mean, 'it burns'?" Soon enough, it all became too clear. Patient: "You know, when I spray it up my nose, it burns so bad." Yep. My patient thought that since Lysol gets rid of influenza, the best way to nip it in the bud was to flush her sinuses with it like a saline spray. It did not work, for the record.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongShutterstock

98. Snakes Alive!

While my wife was in medical school, she helped treat a patient who was having difficulty urinating. She and the doc asked all the preliminary questions, but they still weren't sure what the problem might be. So, the doc ordered an X-ray. She noticed a tangle of dark lines in the patient's bladder. The doctor then went in to show the patient the results, as she was thoroughly stumped.

After the patient saw the X-ray, he freely offered up the jaw-dropping reason. Apparently, he liked to take baby snakes and let them slither up his urethra where they ultimately perished in his bladder. His reason for doing this was that it gave him a "funny feeling".

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik,tonodiaz

99. His Life Was Almost Shattered

I was a paramedic. There was a patient who had shattered their spine by falling off a six-story building. They weren’t trying to hurt themselves but were hanging out on the roof. He had immense internal bleeding and a nasty concussion, but the impossible part was that he nearly shattered all his spinal bones, but his spinal cord was intact. I still see him from time to time, he was in a full-body cast for five or so years, but from my knowledge, he is doing fine and has two kids and a wife.

Strangest Last Words Ever HeardUnsplash, Michel E

100. Gullible With A Capital G

An ex of mine told me a story about a dude that had a window wiper handle stuck up where the sun don’t shine. He told her it was because he had one laying in the shower, slipped and fell onto it. It never occurred to her that it might have not been an accident.

My Patient Was Faking ItShutterstock

101. A Rash Of Problems

I had a small rash that wouldn't go away, so I went to see the doctor after a long while of hoping that it would just disappear on its own. He said it was ringworm and gave me an antifungal, but the rash got worse. I went back and he gave me an even stronger antifungal. Still, the rash spread, and this time it was all down my arms. I went back to the doctor to get a referral to a dermatologist.

The dermatologist took one look at the rash and said, "That is contact dermatitis." I had changed soaps and it irritated my skin, giving me a little rash. The doctor's stupid antifungals, in the meanwhile, were making my skin go crazy. I just stopped using soap for like a week and it was fine, but I had skin discoloration for like a year.

Medical MistakesShutterstock

102. Hats: Functional And Fashionable

One day, a patient comes in and is pretty vague about his actual complaint, something about head pain but he looks just fine sitting while he was waiting to be seen. When I finally get to see him and ask him what actually happened, he removes the hat he was wearing and a chunk of skin about the size of my hand literally flaps off of his skull.

This guy managed to basically scalp himself, and apparently it had been like that for three days. According to him, it was caused by falling in his bathroom and hitting his head on the toilet. He had been previously duct taping it down or using the hat to hold the skin on, but it wasn't sticking well and that's when his wife convinced him to come to the hospital.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongShutterstock

103. Copycat

I had this teenage girl, probably 16, come in saying that her wrist was broken. Her mom was behind her rolling her eyes after every time she would tell me how bad it hurt. She then proceeded to “flop it“ in an attempt to show me how bad it hurt when she did that. She said it was clearly broken and she would need a cast. I said I would take her back and let the doctor do some x-rays and do their thing.

The mother asked to talk to me outside of the room—and she revealed the truth about her daughter. She told me her daughter’s friend recently got a cast and her daughter was notorious for being overly jealous. I just responded by saying that if they were anything wrong, it would show up in the X-ray. Guess what? She didn’t get a cast and threw a fit.

Last I saw her was her crying and throwing a temper tantrum outside of the waiting room and being dragged out by her very embarrassed mom.

My Patient Was Faking ItPexels

104. Life Was Squeezing By

My mom was an ER nurse right after college. A family got in a car crash, and there weren’t any serious injuries; they were just taken to the ER to be assessed. They had a baby, and my mom was asking them questions about its health, etc. When she asked what the baby was being fed, the mom said, “Juice”. Just juice. She had heard that at six months, you could start feeding the baby juice, not realizing it was juice, in addition to baby food or milk. This woman had been feeding her baby ONLY JUICE for months.

Nurses' Infuriating PatientsShutterstock

105. A Real Jaw-Dropper

One day, my friend who was a nurse, was working in the emergency room and it was just one of those bloody days. She had seen more nosebleeds that wouldn't stop on that fateful day to the point where a person freaking out and getting woozy from the blood pouring out of their nostrils with no end in sight had become routine. Then this guy walked in.

He entered the room holding a bloody rag tightly to his face. She took one look at him and thought to herself, “Oh, another nosebleed”. She said to him, "Lower the rag sir," so that she could take a look at how bad it was. The man lowered the rag and his jaw just dropped. It literally dropped from his face and swung about, dangling.

Shocked and unsure how to respond to the sudden surprise, she could only say, "Please, put the rag back sir," which he did. Then, he was taken to the trauma center for help. She looked into the guy's case, curious as to what had happened to him.  She found out that he was cleaning a piece upstairs in his house.

Then, when he was done, he was walking downstairs with it to put it away when he tripped. He discovered, in the most unfortunate way possible, that it was still loaded when he accidentally set it off in his fall and nailed himself in the face at close range.

Medical OMG EncountersShutterstock

106. Bait & Switch

I did a video chat service to talk to a doctor for 15 minutes. I told her my symptoms and thoughts since we were low on time. I had been very sick for weeks, possibly a urinary tract infection and respiratory infection. Also gave the other ideas I had, based on my symptoms. She told me I had valley fever and told me all about it over chat and we got cut off at 15 minutes.

I got her final email which should have a prescription in it. When I read it, I was shocked. It said she actually thought I had somatic symptom disorder aka that I was making all of this up and was perfectly fine. Her prescription was for a freaking psychologist!

She told me in detail about my possible valley fever even though I said I hadn't been to the areas she said it was prevalent. I made an appointment with my normal doctor and had a few tests ran. Had a respiratory infection and a freaking KIDNEY infection! 10 or so days of meds and I was fine.

My gosh I was so angry at that quack.

The Worst Thing My Doctor Told MePexels

Sources: Reddit , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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