ER Workers Share The Craziest Things They Have Witnessed
Hospitals have a vibe about them that just makes you sick at times (except when you get to bring home a new born baby), although they are meant to make us feel the opposite; and we bet you feel the same way. Whether you are going in for getting examined yourself or just accompanying somebody to their doctor, hospital visits crazily drain you out. The amount of pain (and sometimes) panic that one can get to witness inside a hospital can be too much to take for a lot of people.
That being said, we can’t even imagine the horrors on duty Emergency Room staff get to witness on a day-to-day basis!! Trust us when we tell you, cases of fractures, wasp bites and attempts at suicide are ‘the mundane’ in there. From patients who are brought in critical conditions miraculously surviving to those who are declared dead on arrival, these doctors and nurses have seen it all. 31 of these Redditors who shared the craziest things they have witnessed in ERs, agree with us! Embrace yourself as you read on…
Weird Insects Inside
“Abdominal exam on a large woman (bmi of 74). Lifted up Panus to find a dead and rotting frog completely unbeknownst to the patient. Turns out the husband and wife use a pond to get the dirty on for the buoyancy and wildlife suffered for it.
Other cool ones: Take off diabetic’s sock to find maggots infesting a foot ulcer/wound (probably saved the foot). Cockroach (German) in the ear canal occurred once. Freaked me out, as my initial thoughts went to alien!!! Then back to reality.” (ThatGuyski)
Massive Gorilla Inside ER
“A real live gorilla. Not a suit. There had been some sort of altercation at the zoo between the male gorillas and one dropped the other on its head quite violently. The zoo had put in a breathing tube and knew the injury was bad. Called our neurosurgeons and asked if they would look at him as a last resort. So they brought this massive beast in with IV’s, heart monitor, etc. They did a CT scan of it and the docs said even if it was a human that it wasn’t survivable. Zoo staff were crying it was sad. An amazing beast and crazy that it was in my ER!” (_Stamos)
Kid On Hallucinogen
“Worked hospital security so I have a bunch; my favorite is the kid who was on some sort of hallucinogen, and kept trying to plug his hand (which he thought was his phone) into the IV line in his arm (which he thought was the charger). For a while he was convinced I was with the FBI, or the Sheriff’s department and he was in a secret underground detention center.
I think my favorite line from him was when he was looking for his lighter when he yelled “I must have left it in your mom last night, you think you’d have the courtesy to bring it back for me”.” (zimmyzimm)
Crazy Morphine Story
“My husband was given morphine in the hospital and this is exactly how he acted. It was a three day nightmare. On the 3rd day in a moment of clarity he begged them to stop the morphine.
He took a whole hospital bed apart saying he was stringing his guitar. He channeled what I can only say was an old black blues man and would sing loudly in a voice that was not his. He kept trying to smoke the sheets with an invisible lighter.
One of the strangest thing during this adventure was he was saying he seen the neighborhood kids on our porch (really we were on the 2nd floor of the hospital) stealing the other kids bikes and goofing around. He kept telling me to look and stop them kids. When we got home the kids bike were gone.
That was seriously some crazy stuff.” (honeybeegeneric)
Q-Tip Stuck In An Ear
“We had a pt coming in, complaining of “difficulty hearing”. Doesn’t really necessitate an ER visit, so we don’t really hurry. After some time our ENT doc show up… and finds the tip of a Q-Tip in her ear. Was obviously stuck in there for quite some time.
Other thing was a patient, who came in with “some bleeding”. Turns out he tried to put an IV on himself in his crook of the arm, mistakenly aiming for the artery. Apparently, he hit. Walked in occluding it with his fingers. No big deal, however, he stated he “tried to put it in for the sexual thrill and was afraid to pull it back out”.” (nordwind25)
Mishap With 13 Year Old
“Boy of 13 (call him James) comes in with his mother. He is having stomach pain, nothing we have not seen before in the ER. So, I go ahead and start an IV while making some small talk. You know, what is wrong, did you eat anything weird, those kinda question. James mother speaks up and says that while she and the husband went to see a friend, they had left him at home. She gets a call not a half hour later from James stating that they need to come home now, that something was wrong. They find James in the bathroom with some dirty magazines on the floor and a 10 inch vibrator inside his bottom. I did not see that coming…not at all. We have had this before, but never a kid. X-rays showed he had gotten it pretty far up there, there was no way it was coming out on its own.
And to make it worse is that thing was his sisters’. She had not put it up after her and her boyfriend had used it.
We had to ship him to Children’s hospital to have surgery to get it out. I felt sorry for the boy.
Edit: To make this worse, the father had brought his mother with him…why? I don’t know, maybe because he didn’t know what had happened…” (ThewalterNator)
Lamp Post In The Abdomen
“Once, we received an ambulance call of a guy who was involved in a motor vehicle accident. He was riding shotgun. He buddy hit a lamp post and the post impaled his entire abdomen, the post was at least 10 to 15 cm in diameter. Lucky for him the post penetrated his entire abdomen, thus, stopping excessive bleeding. When we arrived on scene, the fire department was working on cutting the lamp post as it was too long for the ambulance but cutting too close would cause too much heat and risk injury. So we took the ambulance to the nearest seven eleven to get some ice to cool the post. Then, we placed him in the ambulance. On the way there, I called the surgeon on call and presented the case. He accepted and we prepared the patient. As we were wheeling him into the elevator. The pole got lodged as it was too big for the elevator door. We had to call the fire department again but, this time they came with packets of ice from seven eleven. The patient went on to the theater where they managed to remove the pole. He survived with no disabilities.” (superstoked)
Drunk Man Got Stung By Wasps
“I was a frequent visitor to the ER when my mother and grandmother were taking turns dying. I literally got to know the staff because I was there with either one of them on at least a weekly basis. The ER that I frequented was basically a great big room with a bunch of beds separated by curtains. Since there was nothing but curtains, there was also very little privacy when the doctors or nurses were talking to the other patients or each other.
One day a guy came in who only spoke Portuguese, so he needed an interpreter. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear he was having trouble speaking. The interpreter had a very loud voice and apparently this guy got drunk, found a beehive and tried to open it to eat the honey. Great plan, except it wasn’t a beehive, it was a wasp’s nest. He had been stung around the mouth and face many, many times. I wish I had been able to get a peek, but everyone who did get to see him audibly gasped when they walked in.” (stormydog)
One From Psychiatric ER
“Worked in a psychiatric ER. Saw a case of Folie a deux which is a shared delusional disorder between two people. In this case a mother and her adult daughter. The mother was soooo paranoid, believed the government was after them, that they were reading their thoughts, they legit had aluminum foil in their purses that they would put on their heads to block out the government from reading their thoughts. She’d obviously raised her daughter to believe this was true. I believe they were found in a train or bus station and were acting so strange the police brought them in to be checked out. They barely spoke to us, would not tell us where they were from or where they were going, I’m assuming they gave us false names and dates of birth. They also would not be separated, and we couldn’t try as the mother had some sort of heart condition and making her panic could’ve possibly made her heart give out. They wanted to admit the mother as she was the one most obviously ill but didn’t dare separating her from the daughter. They eventually just let them go as they were not a danger to themselves or others. I remember calling them a free taxi to take them whenever they wished but they never waited for it and walked off into the night.
To let you know how rare one of these cases is, I’ve worked in psychiatry for over 10 years and this is the one and only time I’ve ever seen a shared psychotic disorder.” (LadyBrittsy)
Drunk 13 Old Jumps From Second Story Window
“I was a volunteer intern (not medical, a critical care extender) and my most memorable time in the ER was when a 13 year old boy with a rat-tail braid came in after he and his friends decided it would be a wonderful idea to get very drunk of some kind of hard alcohol, and then run and jump out of the second story window. We had to staple his wound on the back of his head without anesthesia because he was too drunk, but my absolute favorite part was when his mom came and he instantly started crying “Mamaaa I’m sorrryyy!! I didn’t mean to let you down, don’t be mad!” It was especially funny because this hospital was in the more dangerous part of long beach, and he was trying to act especially tough/gangsta before she arrived.” (steakandasideofsteak)
11 Year Old Eats Two Bar Magnets
“Although I was an EMT, the strangest case I encountered is when I was a patient patiently waiting for doxycycline.
An 11 year old girl in the bed next to me had eaten two bar magnets which apparently lead to intestinal blockage. She was begging not to get surgery and seemed pretty derpy in general. Not exactly sure how her case went, I was seen by dermatologist before they did anything with her.
I knew not to eat magnets since I was about 3…” (3AlarmLampscooter)
Guy Shoots Himself To Death
Several years ago I responded to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. This guy did it in front of his ex-girlfriend’s house, and evidently no one actually heard the gunshot. 911 was called a few hours later, and it was cold that night. He shot himself just above his right ear, with an exit wound near his left temple, and slumped forward a little bit.
When I got there and looked in I was slightly confused, for there was like a red, bulbous, shiny, thing hanging from his exit wound to the floor. It was a brain-cycle. A lot of blood and brain cycle that had slowly poured out, congealed, and frozen solid. Like two feet long. Weird. He was obviously dead and we just pronounced him as opposed to try and resuscitate him, so we left him exactly as we found him.
As a consequence I didn’t get to see the eventual fate of the brain-cycle. How did the medical examiner deal with the brain-cycle? Did he/she just break it off? Break it into pieces so he could fit it into bio hazard bags? I’ll never know.” (Forbidden_Donut523)
18 Month Old Comes Under A Car
“An 18 month old (don’t remember the exact age, but less than 3) comes in in full arrest. Earlier in the day, his mother, an optometrist, was driving him to a play date. For some inexplicable reason, when backing out of the driveway, she didn’t notice that the child was missing in the backseat. Somehow he had gotten himself under one of the rear wheels. It was only after feeling an unexpected speed bump in her driveway that she noticed her missing child. She scrambled out of the car to find she had driven over her son’s head. Upon noting the immediate cranial swelling, she then decides that her optometry training qualifies her to make the important medical decision to create a burr hole – usually drilled in the skull for hemorrhaging- WITH A PAIR OF SCISSORS to relieve pressure. Brain matter started spilling out. It is at this point that she resolves to drive the 5 minutes to our ER. The child passed soon after arrival. Very sad. We never did get an update on the legal ramifications of the case.” (Angelmass)
Guy With Smoking Problem Comes In
“Overheard last time I was in the ER:
Patient: I have a bad cough and it won’t go away.
Doc: ok. Do you smoke anything?
Patient: like a half a pack a day and sometimes some ganja.
Doc: anything else?
Patient: well, I usually smoke a cigarillo dipped in formaldehyde on the weekends.
Doc:……OK….that’s probably the issue….” (emh1990)
Man With Flattened Legs
“Late to the post but: pancaked legs
I was coming into the ER to relieve my partner and saw a man with these strangely looking flat legs from the waist down. I initially thought it was some form of elephantiasis. I did a double take and realized they were literally flattened. A shipping container landed on them. Picture your legs: bones, cartilage, blood vessels, and all. Now picture all of that occupying a total thickness of about 1/2 cm. It was surreal.” (f_ranz1224)
Pregnant Daughter, Ignorant Mom
“Had a woman and her 16 year old daughter come in. Daughter complaining of abdominal pain. Mom is carrying a bible. During exam, doctor asks if there is any chance she is pregnant. Mom goes ballistic. “WE ARE A GOOD CHRISTIAN FAMILY! HOW DARE YOU!! I’LL SEE THAT YOU ARE FIRED!!”
Get the labs back and of course she is pregnant. Doctor gets huge smile on his face.
We return to the exam room and he again asks the daughter if there is any chance that she is pregnant. Mom responds as expected, demanding to see another doctor, etc. Doctor looks at mom and says, “I’m not talking to YOU!” He again asks the girl if she could be pregnant and she responds with the typical, “Oh goodness no, I’m a virgin.” The doctor hands the lab results to the mother and says, “CONGRATULATIONS! Another immaculate conception!” and walked out of the room.” (TurnTheTVOff)
Guy Stabs Himself With Blunt Knife
“I’m so late but here we go…
Guy rolls into the trauma bay after stabbing himself. He had been having some financial problems and wanted to end his life. Thing was, he was using a fairly blunt chef’s knife. He had a dozen little tiny wounds where he had tried to get the knife in, and then a large one where he had succeeded, with the knife still in him. So here’s this chap, talking to us as we work around a knife jammed in his chest up to the hilt. He needed surgery to figure out what he had done, turned out he had hit no major vessels and he survived.” (The_Obvious_Child)
Old Asian Man Comes With Can Up His Bottom
“I worked as a tech at the front desk of an ER. One morning at about 6am as my shift started a 75 year old Asian man walked in and tried speaking with me. All I could make out was “no fart, no Poo poo”. I called our translation line and had them get a Vietnamese translator. After about 10 minutes of him on the phone with the translator I take the line and the translator explains that the man thinks something “slipped” up his bottom. Take him to X-RAY after seeing the doc. Get the film back. He has a huge can of hair spray way in his colon. When the doctor asks him how it got there all he could come up with was “I don’t know, someone must have pushed it up while he was sleeping”. This was just one of the many things I’ve seen inside bottoms over my time in the ER. But it was definitely the biggest. I have seen small shampoo bottles, vibrators (still vibrating), sticks, pickles, and quite a few other things on X-rays in the ER.” (Balognarye)
Unforgettable Night In ER
“I don’t work in an ER, but when I was sixteen I got a Minor in possession charge (got caught drinking beer in the desert with some friends). At the time the city I live in was running a diversion program which included an overnight stay in the ER. I saw a lot of crazy that night, an elderly woman who got into a horrible car accident and broke both her arms, a young girl stabbed in the abdomen with a rusty screwdriver (she refused to drink the barium liquid to check for internal bleeding because it ‘tasted gross’ and Oh by the way she thought she was pregnant). It started to slow down at about 2 AM and the chaperone was about to let me leave when they got a code blue call. He picked up the phone and got the word as to what was happening, hung up the phone and said “You probably need to see this”. In rolls a Hispanic kid, no older than 17, part of his gang initiation was to play Russian roulette. He lost, blew out his orbital sockets and forehead and exposed his brain, I could see his tongue writhing around and he was gurgling on his own blood. All of this taken in by a 16 year old kid who drank two rolling rocks in the Arizona desert with a few friends. They stopped the program after several other kids had ‘traumatizing experiences’. That night will never be forgotten.” (skunkwrxs)
Moth Stuck In Ear Canal
“Had a patient come in with a live moth stuck in his ear canal against the eardrum. Somehow got in when he was mowing the lawn. It was initially flapping its wings against his ear which he said was the weirdest feeling he ever felt. It didn’t hurt, it was just weird.
We tried everything to get it out (moth died in the process) and eventually had to just send him home with a prescription for ear drops to dissolve it.” (drewdp)
Car Breakdown Results In Fractures
“Two guys had a car break down on the freeway, something electrical, so no lights. They were pushing it down an off ramp when a car exited, didn’t see them and rear-ended the car, with both of them between, at about 45 mph. Horrible, awful fractures to both of their femur and legs. But, they both got to keep them, just a lot of plates, rods, pins.” (ADDeviant)
Cocaine In A Guy’s Foreskin
“Huge dude came in with EMS who had maxed out on their sedation medications (20mg midazolam IM) with no effect. We gave him some diazepam and he quickly went off to sleep. Being a paramedic student they made me put in a catheter so he didn’t piss everywhere while he was asleep. When putting in the catheter we found that there was a white powder in his foreskin which turned out to be cocaine. That alone wouldn’t have been enough to get him high, but it would help sustain it!” (Blackout_Medic)
Scary ER Incidents
“Too many to recount, but the ones that stick in my head are:
40 year old female who comes in complaining of sore mouth. Opens up to reveal a horrendous, discharging abscess with what looks like fungal infection. After a bit of probing, it turned out she had tried to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a duck a week prior.
30 year old guy brought from a rollover RTC as a major trauma call, was the passenger in a car that was hit by a truck on the motorway and rolled down an embankment. All other occupants declared dead on scene (3 others). He was assessed head to toe and all we found was a fractured finger. Turns out he wasn’t wearing a seat-belt and was ejected through the car window during one of the rolls, escaping the fate of the other occupants by some miracle.” (Mnonni)
Man Loses Fingertips Of One Hand
“Older man thought something sounded off in his lawnmower. He thought the blades had stopped spinning when he turned over the mower to investigate. The blades were still moving… He lost the tips of his fingers on one of his hands. He was oddly calm between the shock and the drugs when I was taking his X-rays, which was nice because it was quite a graphic case for me at that time as a radiography student.” (carolinablue199)
Night Shift Security Lists Incidents From ER
“I worked night shift security. Here’s a few situations from our hospital.
- Psych patient not being watched bolts to the ambulance bay and sure enough steals an ambulance. The police caught up with her about 15 miles away. That town who owned the ambulance no longer keeps their keys in their rigs.
- Female tries to commit suicide by stabbing herself in the abdomen. She used a massive kitchen knife and it was approximately a mm from her spine.
- ETOH patients are common for ERs. Some are such bad alcoholics they will grab the hand sanitizer and gulp it down, for the isopropyl alcohol.
- Man parks his car way out in the barely used lot on the night shift opens his car door and tapes a shotgun to his face. He literally blows his brains out and most of his head. He drove about 100 miles to do this. He seemed to have made the choice at least partly because of his pending divorce. We couldn’t figure out why he picked our hospital until we found out he had been born there.” (AuthorFox)
ER Cases Dealt By Mother And Daughter
“Mom and I both worked in ERs.
MOM: 1985ish BX zoo tiger attack: zoologist or something was training a new employee in the tiger area. For some reason the cage was left open or the Tigers location unknown. The tiger comes in to their area…the trainee scaled a relatively high fence. She wasn’t so lucky. She came in to the ER barely alive…they worked on her for a long time. She came in looking perfectly intact. She was finally declared dead. She had been swiped in the back of the neck and a doctor put his hand in the wound post code (examining trauma). He could move the bones in her face because they shattered almost perfectly. My mom said her pic in the paper was totally different.
ME: About a year ago, a young man (~30) comes in with complaint of abdominal pain. Not a priority so he’s around for a while. His boyfriend was raising hell in the waiting room about the coffee machine not being stocked…whatever. Eventually we find out he has K cups in his bottom. It was bizarre.” (Lizzitus)
Thief Shot With Crossbow
“Son of an Emergency Doctor here. My dad’s always told me some wild things about the late night shifts.
One night he came home and told me a thief had broken into someone’s house that night and was bent over, rummaging through the homeowner’s belongings. The homeowner was 5 feet away in a closet with a cross bow… They had to carry the thief into the ER because the homeowner shot him square in the bottom. My dad said he’d never been so mortified of a wound until he saw that.” (XIIInails)
Guy Came With Respiratory Arrest
“Respiratory arrest comes in, turns out they found him in the parking lot. Push narcan, low and behold he comes around. I’m digging through his pockets for an ID and find a handful of condoms and other stuff. We end up piecing the full story together from our info plus security’s. Basically, he had taken his gf to her OB appointment because she was very pregnant, who then proceeded into the bathroom with her boyfriend and did a crazy load of heroin while doing stuff with this dude, loud enough that visitors called security, who found them passed out naked with needles and drugs all over the ground and kicked them out.
Proceeded to OD in his car and was luckily found before he died. His gf was like “oh, yeah. I told him he needs to stop doing that.” Can’t make this stuff up.” (dinostar)
Guy Overdoses Himself, Comes With Priapism
“Med-surg RN here. We had a guy yesterday who was in with priapism because he injected something we had never heard of into his private part, and he tried to blame his girlfriend for overdosing him on it. The RN straight up told the guy not to blame her and that it was his own damn fault.
As the day went on, she noticed he was alternating between talking about his “girlfriend” and his “wife.” Sometimes patient do this, you know how it goes. But it seemed like he was talking about two different people. So the resident filled us in- the guy had a girlfriend and a wife, and the wife had no idea how any of this happened, and the guy stated he “didn’t care” if she found out.
Oh, and the guy also has a colostomy.
My reaction was “how is this guy getting laid more than I am?!” (missandei_targaryen)
Guy Tried To Commit Suicide
“UCSF Mt Zion: Guy comes in complaining of a headache. Turns out he tried to commit suicide via 22 Cal pistol. It gave him a concussion and short term memory loss. Bullet suck in his head.” (onique)