ER docters whats the worst state a person has come in ?

  1. Up in Taos, a man ingested an entire container of aluminum phosphide tablets. A couple tablets are meant to be placed into prairie dog holes and then the moisture that accumulates inside the covered up hole triggers a toxic gas. The man was taken to the ER... where he was foaming from the mouth, deemed to be a toxic hazard for the entire hospital, moved to a tent outside, where he then died. I was not there, but my spouse was there. The image of what happened that day to that man and to those around him... is haunting.

  2. My cousin works in the ER; when we lived together, one day she come home telling me about a patient that tried to cut his own head off with a chainsaw. They had to sew his tongue onto the remaining tissue of his neck because otherwise it would have died off. Obviously he passed out from the pain before he could get to the vital parts of his neck but I still imagine this to be pretty gruesome.

  3. Imagine being the driver of the SUV and doing everything right that day, but still having to live with the guilt of killing 2 kids and permanently disabling the other 4. This is awfully tragic for everyone involved.

  4. I’ve seen quite a few in terrible shape. There are two that stand out as the most terrible. Not the most gory, because frankly, I’ve been an ER doc at a trauma center through my entire career and gory is typical. These cases were just gut-wrenchingly awful.

  5. They shouldn’t be allowed to turn off the gas to anyone when it’s that cold. In fact, where I live, I think they aren’t allowed to.

  6. ER doc here. 26 year old girl, unrestrained passenger riding with a drunk driver. Her head went into the wind shield and popped the whole wind shield off the car. Her skull was filet'd open from the forehead up, brain completely exposed and falling out of her skull, largely intact but horribly swollen. Rest of her face and body was essentially unmarked. She was breathing on her own but not moving purposefully. She got intubated, taken to the operating room. I asked the neurosurgeon what the plan was, and he said "I'm just gonna cut off the part that's sticking out". She had a partial lobotomy, skull was left open with the hope the swelling would go down. She was basically brain dead that night and died a week later. Driver was drunk but had a seat belt on. Walked out of the ER that night.

  7. I always tell people, when drunk driving is mentioned and not being taken seriously that at best you kill yourself at worst it's a family of five and you'll be alive and know you killed them everyday forever.

  8. I work in car insurance transcription. Almost every fatal accident I’ve ever transcribed involved someone not wearing a seatbelt, and the injuries are always horrific.

  9. I’m on dialysis too. When I first started, I had one of those accesses. My very first one popped out of me when the stitches failed. Shockingly I never bled a drop but it scared me for a hot minute. I called my doctor and he told me I would be fine since I wasn’t bleeding. Had the access shunt replaced the next day (that one popped out a week later). I have a fistula in my left arm now but the sight of my original shunt lying on the floor after sliding out of my chest still comes to mind occasionally.

  10. My dad was on dialysis for a long time and had a variety of other stuff. So I would help him get dressed etc. I was terrified of accidentally pulling out his access point.

  11. Wow. Just want to say thank you for attempting CPR “for the family’s sake”. You guys are true heroes out there.

  12. I once saw a four-year-old girl whose head was run over by her dad‘s tractor by accident. Her and her mother had went out to give him food during harvest after dark. He was ready to get started and they thought she was in the truck. Unfortunately ran over her head. She was still alive. Field trach tube. Just awful. Certain things you can’t un-see.

  13. Kid in my 7th grade class had something similar happen, was doing farm work with a friend, got off the tractor while it was moving to get something and slipped under the back wheel, crushed his rib cage/lungs in and crushed half his skull. He survived but was never the same. Lives out of a wheelchair now

  14. Former ER security guard here. I've seen a lot, but a few memorable ones: 15-year-old who attempted suicide by sticking his head in a spinning lawnmower blade and basically scalped himself; another psych patient who anally fisted himself almost up to the elbow; motorcycle accidents involving not wearing a helmet medflighted in and missing a whole lotta skin; and one I still think about 17 years later - a teenage girl who coded while undergoing back alley cosmetic surgery whose dead body I pulled out of a car out front of the ED. The job is great if you're an adrenaline junky but also can be very sad. You need to be able to effectively cope with the stress it involves and not everyone can do that.

  15. Paramedic here. Grossest call? Guy fell down in a hoarder house. Wife was to embarrassed to ask for help. So she fed and "cleaned him" on the floor. patient layed on a dirty tile floor for 2 weeks. His right arm was so swollen and covered in maggets, the arm was as large as a leg. Removing parts of his clothes so much tissue was already breaking down all over his body. Black and oozing puss. Man spent his last week alive in a nightmare fever dream. I've had more graphic deaths of course but holy shit what a miserable way to die.

  16. My grandma basically did this to my grandpa. Where he fell wasn’t too bad in terms of hoarding (she is one), but she was unable to get him up and didn’t call for help for a few days. He had a TBI and developed wounds due to the pressure and her inability to clean him up.

  17. My mom was an ER nurse and she said the worst case she ever had to deal with involved a kid whose parents had backed over them in the driveway. Apparently the toddler had the skin of their face completely pulled off where the tire had basically pinched it off of them. The kid survived, but my mom said she’ll never forget the screams of that child.

  18. That was why we had a rule of: the kids will stand on the steps and wait until the engine is off, of the parent coming home. If they can’t do that, the door stays closed until the person in the car opens the door.

  19. My husband’s an ER doctor and saw a little boy whose car ran over his head, he didn’t make it. They were parked on a hill and the car started rolling backward. My husband cried for 3 days.

  20. I work at registration so I only ever see a select fraction of patients that come in through the ER doors vs the ambulance entrance. Worst I saw (and its pretty tame compared to some of the other responses) was a guy who was completely unconscious from an OD and needed 4 nurses to come out to the car where he was and put him on a stretcher and brought him back. All of his flesh looked insanely bloated I did not think he would be ok. Then like I dunno 4ish hours later I see him walk out the door so I guess he was alright in the end.

  21. Not a doctor, a nurse. A mentally disabled man who was also blind and deaf who lived with relatives. Apparently he lived locked away in the basement and they would just bring him down bread and peanut butter and water to eat and that’s all he had eaten for over two years. The police were called when the neighbours saw an emaciated bearded old man crawling around the backyard naked and confused. Guy comes in, leg wounds full of maggots, covered in filth, lice in his hair and beard, emaciated and starving. I remember receiving him from the emergency department, trying to calm him down because he couldn’t see or hear and was mentally disabled. We washed him and cut his hair and deloused him. Do you know how people always complain about the hospital food? I have never seen a patient more appreciative of getting three square meals ever. We would signal to him by taking his hand gently and touching it to his mouth that dinner was in front of him and he would get a look on his face like it was the best thing that ever happened in his life. He always ate every last morsel, and we ended up ordering him double portions until he put on a good 40 pounds. He was with us for about three months awaiting placement. He went from 90 pounds to 130 pounds in that time. He was actually very sweet. It makes me sick that his family treated him like that. I’m not sure whatever happened to them but I know there was an investigation.

  22. Intestines laying next to them in the stretcher. Don’t fall off a motorcycle and land on a guard rail. I guess technically people who arrive dead or in cardiac arrest are in worse shape, but this was the most visually terrible.

  23. Yep. Friend of mine had that too. Cleanly (or rather not…) split in half on a guardrail. Unfortunately (fortunately? I doubt) lived long enough to reach the hospital and a few more hours.

  24. Orthopaedic surgery resident. Spend a lot of time in the ED. The dude who was pushing his girlfriend's car off the freeway at night and got hit from behind may have been the worst I’ve seen recently. Was alive. Legs were annihilated.

  25. If there is one thing I've learned it's that when your car breaks down, you WILL be hit from behind eventually even if you've pulled completely off the road.

  26. Guy I worked with got crushed against a wall accidently by his wife reversing out of the drive. Severed a leg artery and he ended up loosing it. Someone showed me a pic of the drive and there was so much blood

  27. Med student here (graduating this year!) had a guy come in who jumped in front of the subway. He was brought in with a weak pulse but a second ambulance came in shortly after and handed me a garbage bag. I thought it was his belongings but when I looked inside, it was the patients right leg. Apparently his leg was trapped under the train and decision was made to do a below knee amputation in the field (it was taking too long to get the train lifted). According to the train conductor, the patient looked him straight in the eye and jumped in front as the train was pulling in. We also did resusitative thoracotomy (cracked his ribs for direct access to massage the heart) but he was too far gone and we pronounced him shortly after.

  28. ED night doc here. Worst I ever saw was someone who had tried to commit suicide with a shotgun. Put the gun under their chin and pulled the trigger. Must have flinched at the last moment as they blew off most of their lower jaw and midface up to the nasal bone. They were conscious and trying to talk when they came in.

  29. I have seen an interview of a girl who survived this same thing. She is living her life disabled and without a face, but had a huge change of heart. Went from suicidal to severely disabled but embracing life and grateful for her family.

  30. if we don't count dead people... I've had a shot gun wound to the elbow, suicide with a corrosive liquid, hand stuck in meat grinder,...

  31. Eons ago during my residency, a guy came into the ER complaining of a venomous snake bite. He was also holding onto the very snake that bit him. The snake was still alive and the guy was holding the snake behind its head. He said he’d always been told to “bring the animal that bit you” for testing. Good times in the rural south!

  32. ER doc here. Had a nurse come grab me while I was charting: “Doc, you NEED to see room 6 right NOW”. For those of you who don’t work in the ER, when one of the nurses tells you to go see a patient, you run.

  33. LOL I'm an oncology nurse and yeah, some of those tumors absolutely reek, but we've gotten by with a double mask and some toothpaste in between them. We had one guy with a giant tumor in his armpit, looked like that fungus that grows on the side of trees and you could stick your arm up to the elbow into it. He was supposed to get it cleaned and the dressing changed daily, though he'd often refuse. Had to stick my arm up into it to apply gels and topical creams...and it usually takes at least 30-60min to do it all too and you feel the smell cling to you even when you ungown. He also came in absolutely filthy. He'd refused to put his dog away when the home care nurses came to do his wound care, so they discharged him from their service. He just let it fester until he "had been bleeding for about a month." You could smell him all the way down the hall even with the door closed. Apparently, the EMTs pulled him out of a home that had blood everywhere, like a murder scene. HIV positive too, so that was a fun treat having all that contaminated blood all over.

  34. My husband used to work in the ER and one of the saddest stories he’s ever told me was about a little girl and her mom getting hit by a drunk driver on their way to Disneyland. The little girl was unharmed and still wearing her Minnie Mouse headband but her mom didn’t make it. We both couldn’t stop crying and I still think about it from time to time.

  35. Not a doctor but I used to work for the county coroner, nights and weekends. Got a call one night, real late like 2am, it was cold and foggy as hell. Call was to the country, middle of nowhere (I live in a big ag area—tons of farms and dairies and orchards). Get to the site to see emergency services everywhere. Sheriffs, fire engines, paramedics. And a giant crane. Apparently a guy who worked the farm decided to get drunk and go till a field in the middle of the night. Wound up flipping his tractor into an irrigation ditch and it smashed down on top of him. When the crane lifted the tractor clear and the floods lit up the ditch I couldn’t even tell what i was looking at. Just human meat.

  36. Through work I saw video of a workplace accident where a bobcat flipped onto an operator, and only his legs were sticking out, wizard of oz style. I imagine that when they finally removed it, the scene would be similar, but it was jarring how normal and healthy his legs looked poking out from underneath.

  37. An elderly disabled veteran had moved in with his sister and her husband and they promptly locked him their garage. They would occasionally throw bread and alcohol in there with him, and proceeded to collect/cash his disability checks as they arrived. He sat in that garage in a drunken stupor and his own waste for God only knows how long, before a neighbor reported hearing crying from the garage and a God awful smell once he got close enough. The paramedics and police arrived (the home’s occupants were immediately arrested on a variety of charges) and wheeled the victim away.

  38. To survive through a war only to die from grievous neglect at the hands of your own family in a dark garage... I have no words.

  39. My story is similar to this but not this severe. I worked at a nursing home for 24 years and one of our worst admissions was from a young man (19-20) with cerebral palsy and some other medical issues. His aunt and uncle had custody of him because his mom was in prison. He was kept locked in a tiny shed in the back yard. No water, toilet, heat, air conditioning, or bed. Nothing. He sat/laid on the ground on a dirty blanket. They took him food and water every so often and supposedly changed his diapers once a day. He can’t walk or stand and can’t talk clearly. He can’t reposition himself while laying down. He had previously been attending a special school. When he stopped coming the school tried calling to check but no one would answer. So they ended up calling social services to do a welfare check. They showed up at the house and couldn’t find him but did an outside check and finally found him in the shed. We received an emergency call and our social workers went to get him along with a couple of nurses. It was bad. The male nurse, who is fantastic, took to him like he was his own son. I have chills just thinking about it. It was kind of like you hear of ducks or birds imprinting on someone? That was this young man and that nurse.

  40. I work as a firefighter medic and ran a similar call. A man had taken medical power of attorney over his sister and kept her locked in a room for who knows how long. We found out later, he was doing something similar with feeding her a few pieces of bread and water a day and cashing her disability checks. We were called out on a welfare check and when we went in the room, the stench was absolutely horrendous. Flies covered the walls and ceiling amd there was some sort of slime growing on the floor. She had been bed ridden for so long that her skin had literally fused with the mattress with her urine and feces acting as glue. After much work, crying from her and several gowns, we were able to get her unstuck from the bed and moved to the cot. She had huge abcesses in her legs that were filled with maggots and, although we tried to be as professional as possible and help where we could, most of us ended up gagging while trying to move her. The worst part of it was the whole time she was crying and apologizing to us and im just sitting there thinking and reassuring her that none of this is her fault. She had nothing to apologize for. This was done to her not something she did intentionally.

  41. I code medical records for a living and I have had some crazy charts. I have learned several things over the years. 1. To many people are to embarrassed to purchase sex toys. One of the worst cases was a gentleman who rented a hotel/motel room and decided to clean it naked, like you do obviously, and was scrubbing the shower and slipped and fell on to the wooden stick of a toilet plunger that just happened to be stuck to the floor of the tub when the shower rod he was holding on to for stability broke. I think he lived but he had to have major bowel resection and was going to likely have a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. 2. People with long hair should not be around machinery unless they really secure their hair up and away. Gentlemen came in from a work accident at a paper mill where he got scalped when his hair got caught in a machine and ripped his hair, scalp and all off of his head. Again he amazingly lived but they had to reattach his scalp. 3. Untreated diabetes is one of the worst chronic health conditions. Guy came in to ER with shortness of breath and some chest pain, doctor realize he is in Congestive Heart Failure, they admit him and have him get in hospital gown and so on, he took off his shoes and the smell was absolutely horrific. They looked down at his feet and it looked like they were melting and he didn't even feel it. He had severe gangrene due to diabetic ulcers. The diabetic neuropathy was so bad he couldn’t even feel it, how he couldn’t smell or see there was an issue is beyond me. He ended up with bilateral below the knee amputations. **edit to fix grammar, originally done on phone.

  42. Never underestimate a person’s ability to ignore a medical issue they don’t want to deal with. “If I don’t ever take off my socks, I don’t have to acknowledge how bad my feet have gotten.”

  43. EMS here, a few years ago I got called for dull foot pain x2 weeks. I thought it was some run of the mill BS. But when I got there I immediately smelled rot. I asked her if I could look at her feet.

  44. Not medical field but I used to work at a foundry and the first week they overfill the furnace and 4 people had their feet burnt off halfway up to the shins with 5000 degree steel. You could hear them screaming across the whole facility

  45. There's an aluminum foundry near where I live and it was shut down for a few years because apparently no one cleaned out some standing water somewhere and they dumped molten aluminum into it. It cause a huge steam explosion and two people were incinerated by the aluminum.

  46. My coworker said he used to work security at the hospital. Guy comes in saying he feels woozy, asks if they have a payphone. He goes over, puts the change in to make a call, and drops dead.

  47. There are a lot of stories out there of people who were shot in the head and didn't know it. One guy had a .22 lodged in his scalp (didn't penetrate his skull) for 5 years. He thought it was some cyst. Another guy woke up with a headache ... yep, shot in the head.

  48. There’s a case where a boyfriend was brought in for questioning after his girlfriend was found shot dead. The police officer just kept asking him question after question and this guy was so incoherent, his story kept changing, he said he just wanted to sleep. Turns out, he had been shot in the head when his girlfriend was. It entered in a weird place (his nostril?) so the cop didn’t even see it for hours. Yeah. Not an uncooperative suspect, just a guy with a bullet in his head that couldn’t remember he’d been shot.

  49. I worked as hospital security for probably 6 months before almost breaking my ankle on the job. My very first shift we had a methed out junkie come in in a severe state of psychosis. We needed to restrain her because she was hurting herself and trying to hurt anyone around her and I made a total rookie mistake (because I was a total rookie) and reached across her to try and grab her wrist. She moved to bite me and my trainer/coworker moved lightning fast and grabbed her hair to yank her head back down while I secured the restraint. He looked at me as cool as a cucumber and said “yeah, never reach across because it leaves you open to attack”.

  50. My father was a trauma surgeon. The worst he's seen, apparently, was a man who had his entire foot sucked off—those were the words he used—after he got it caught beneath a moving train.

  51. You know, "had his entire foot sucked off by a moving train" is not a phrase I ever thought I would encounter. It's also not one I relish encountering.

  52. Not a Dr but i’ll put up a story, reading all these crazy things makes me want to share. When i was 13 my dad nearly murdered my mom. He used a wrench he had hidden (i was next door at the time than god) and beat her over the head. She ended up bighting his thumb off. She passed out and she somehow regained consciousness and left and a neighbor saw her and helped her. They had to bring in the life flight to take her to a level 1. Multiple broken fingers from holding her hands over her head and tons of big dents in her skull. Fucking miracle she’s alive and not a vegetable. One of the docs that treated her said he had never seen anything so bad. My dad got sentenced to life (i was subpoenaed and had to testify) with possibility of parole and ended up doing 21 years in max before he was paroled. Gave me a real bad case of PTSD and made me suicidal at one point. I haven’t seen or talked to him since he was in prison about 20 years ago.

  53. Never worked in one myself, but my mom did when she was younger. She said the craziest thing she saw was when some drunk dude came in at 2 am. Apparently he had made a bet he could shove a whole beer bottle up his ass. He lost when the bottle broke half way up his sphincter..

  54. ER nurse here: about 2 weeks ago we had a young guy who was in an arguement with his partner while off his head on drugs. Ended up stabbing himself in the chest 7 times including once through the heart. Surgeons had to operate while he was in our department and he went into cardiac arrest twice but we were able to bring him back. Ended up transferring him to a specialist trauma hospital but heard that about a week later he died on intensive care

  55. I've always wondered. When you get patients that come in and you have to save their lives. Do you see them as people every time? Or sort of just like a job? I dont know how better to describe it than are they just a bag of meat and bones that you have to make work properly?

  56. Doctor here. Worst shape I saw in the ER was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He still had a weak pulse when he arrived but the exit wound had half of his brain just peaking out of it. He didn't last much longer and we called the code not long after. Interestingly, the entrance wound was tiny and barely noticeable.

  57. I have seen a few of these as a RT in a trauma facility, we also had a girl attacked by her spouse( young military couple) he spent an entire day beating and raping her then when she tried to leave he grabbed a kitchen knife and cut her arm from the elbow to the wrist down to the bone. Thankfully that was on the top of the forearm and not the bottom she was ok physically but not mentally after that.

  58. ER nurse. Had a 16 y/o shot himself in the head with a shotgun. Everything above his eyebrows was GONE. Brain stem was intact so breathing spontaneously, airway patent, BP 130/70, hr 88 and regular. So EMS transported him to the hospital. FML that shit sticks with ya.

  59. It's like some rifle rounds, it'll leave a entrance the side of a dime and exit wound the size of a fist

  60. Unconscious 36 year old pregnant female. Found to be a spontaneous uterine hemorrhage at 32 weeks. Emergency c-section in the ER itself. I was doing CPR on the mother while they cut the baby out and tried to suture her back up. Mom died in ICU after OR, baby only made it 2 weeks in NICU. Left with blood on my shoes.

  61. I just want to say, thank you for being the person to get blood on your shoes. I know it can be a thankless, grueling job. I appreciate you.

  62. Not a doctor, but my ex husband decided to attempt suicide slowly while driving after he and I had a fight. When I got to the hospital, found out he’d cut himself 21 times on one arm and 8 on the other. They had to do emergency surgery too reattach his hands. He left with a steak knife and a box cutter and it was game on. Every time he got to a stoplight, he’d make a slash. I saw the truck after he did it. Looked like he stabbed 8 people to death in there. Blood, flesh and hair everywhere. It was awful. He survived, we got divorced, became great friends, set him up with his new wife, but sadly he committed suicide last January 2021. She found him in the back yard with a shotgun blast to the mouth. She’s so fucked up from seeing that. He was a nice person. Such a shame.

  63. We had a patient who had some gangrene near a vein caused by needle use. She left the hospital against medical advice before receiving any treatment. Came back a few weeks later and her entire arm was necrotic to the point it looked mummified, she had lost use of it some time ago and was just so high it wasn’t a concern until she started getting violently ill. Had to amputate at her shoulder, probably would have only had to do some skin grafts had she not left in the first place. Not as graphic as some of the others here but I can’t believe a person could walk around like that for so long like it was nothing. Don’t do drugs kids.

  64. My dad doesn't do drugs but is of the "grin and bear it" mindset where he just toughs it out unless he's basically dying... well a few years back he hurt his arm (I think it was a rotator cuff?) And he basically just... stopped using his arm for a few weeks/months instead of admitting it hurt. He travels for work so my mom didn't get to see him too often, and one day when he's finally home she sees him without a shirt and his whole right side is basically caved in - his arm and shoulder/chest area had started to atrophy from disuse, because he's a dumb guy and didn't want to go to the doctor.

  65. Not a dr but worked in an ER. Worst for me personally to witness was a little 2 year old who was brought in by his family, in a car, they ran him in and he was completely limp, his skin was gray and his lips were blue. Grandma and aunt and uncle were watching the kid, he had been vomiting and they laid him down on his back in the crib to sleep. He vomited and asphyxiated. We preformed CRP for 30 minutes and qere unable to revive him. I remember carrying his little lifeless body from the trauma room to a different room to clean him up for when his parents finally arrived. I don't know what was worse, the mothers wails when she saw her son, or the look on the grandmas face when she realized her daughter may never forgive her.

  66. EMT here. I can honestly say that there is a specific wail people give when their child or partner passes on unexpectedly. It really rattles you.

  67. My 1 year old threw up in her sleep one time and the amount of freak out I had when I got her up the next morning, was a feeling I’d never forget.

  68. I was a security guard at a hospital and we had a patient flown in by helicopter who had been in a motorcycle accident with no helmet. His brain was exposed when we rushed him down to the ER (we drove the kart) and bleeding everywhere. He didn’t last long.

  69. Motorcycle accidents are NOT to be fucked with. I've heard many horror stories. A few of them come from my parents, both of whom ride motorcycles but are borderline paranoid about safety (helmet, leathers, road awareness, etc.), and therefore have never been in a crash.

  70. General surgery doc here. I was in med school and a 16 year-old boy came in as a trauma from a ski accident. Apparently he was an Olympic trainee and practicing, bolting down the ski run at god knows how fast. One of his skis got caught in the fenestrated plastic fencing lining the ski run and, since his leg was attached to his ski, his leg was pulled off almost entirely. Just hanging on by a thin rope of muscle. His leg looked white like candlewax. You could also see the hole in his pelvis the torn leg left and his intestines were spilling from that hole. We transferred him to the OR table from the stretcher and the leg just…fell off completely at that point. He ultimately didn’t make it. His parents had to fly in from abroad to see him, and he passed away while his parents were on the flight over.

  71. I was the first on scene for a car accident that happened in front of me. Narrow back road, lots of sharp turns and twists, dips. I had slowed down, getting ready to turn but was waiting for a dog in the road. There was a minivan ahead of me, that kept going. As they approached the turn, a car with some drunk teenagers came speeding around the curve and barreled straight thru the mini van. And I do mean THRU it, the Minivan essentially shattered and exploded. I immediately threw my phone to my passenger (my friends 13 year old younger sibling that I picked up from soccer practice, since I volunteered at the school) and told her to stay in the car, call 911.

  72. Worked in a ER as buisness office, getting patient info for billing. The worst thing I have ever seen personally was a car rear ended at ungodly speeds. Two little girls in the back. One luckily turned out to have minor bruises and cuts. Thought her condition was worse due to her sisters blood covering her. The other little girl was mangled more than any child should be. Her dad was wheeled in after his daughters and we made eye contact. This was my second year in the ER, I've seen some shit. Suicides, stabbings, shootings, car rollovers, sheet metal slicing people up, semi wrecks that ripped limbs off people. Seeing gore wasn't new to me, but seeing this man's stare made feel so cold I nearly fell due to my legs feeling like they would give out. He did what he could telling me names of his daughters, age, all their info for the staff to work. I got them in and he asked me if they will be okay. I told him truthfully I can't answer that as I'm not the guy to know. I will ask for him and assured him that they are in the best hands.

  73. I actually touched a power line and my friends had to do CPR on me until life flight arrived. I was in a coma for a week. I woke up fully functioning. All the doctors and nurses told my family I had no business being alive. And they had nothing to do with it.

  74. Not ER but surgical staff. We got a call about a person with a "large infected area" but no other information besides the patient being around 500 pounds. We set up the bariatric bed, and the standard wound washout pack and wait. Anaesthesia calls to say we need all hands on deck and to get peppermint oil ready (we use peppermint oil for cases where the odor will be horrible, to dab on our masks so it's no too intense). Anaesthesia and patient (and a few transporters due to weight) roll into the room and a horrible smell fills the air. We ask where the wound is and the patient says "wounds are all over my groin and stomach". We asks if they know how the wounds came about and response was no. Patient goes to sleep and we remove the gown and blankets to begin. The patient had 6 huge gaping wounds, 4 on stomach and 2 around groin. The wounds were green and black which meant they've been open for awhile. We start irrigating with saline and antibiotics and suddenly maggots start pouring out of the other wounds. The sight and the smell caused myself and two others to start vomiting. We remove some dead skin and irrigate more until the wounds are a fresh pink color and until we saw no more maggots. We pack the wounds and we set up some more procedures for the next few days to get this patient back to normal(ish). During the next wash out, we notice more odor, worse than the day before and it smells like dead bowel. Patients colon was destroyed and rotting from the infection and the maggots and so much was compromised that at that point there was nothing else we could do besides make this patient comfortable for passing. We found out after patient passed, according to the patients mom, that patient was on insulin and refused to use new needles every time, so they used the same needle repeatedly in the same couple of spots and has been doing so for over a month before the infection started becoming noticeable and unavoidable. Mom tried to get patient to come to hospital for weeks when she noticed the smell but patient refused until it became the mess that I described earlier.

  75. ER Nurse here. Cocaine is often cut with a drug called Levamisole. This causes vasculitis and eventual skin death on various parts of the body, especially the face. I took care of a lady that had this condition all over her body. She had been admitted to a burn center a couple of weeks before to treat her dying skin and sent home to recover. She was instructed to change her dressings, apply medication and given everything she needed to recover. After NOT doing any of these things for 2 weeks she was brought into our ED by a concerned friend. Her wounds had all gone gangrenous and the bandages had adhered to the “burns”. The smell…. I’ll never forget it. We soaked the bandages the best we could and began removing them. She would scream, we’d push more narcotics and we’d continue on. She still screamed, but it was a little less. It took hours to get all the bandages off.

  76. Not a doc but was working the ambulance triage bay at the trauma center I work in. Rescue pulled up with a dude they were doing CPR on after a car accident. The guy looked like someone forgot about their rotisserie chicken. I could see his radius and ulna, his whole face was crushed in, and during CPR his skin started sliding around under my hand.

  77. For what it's worth I'm security at a major metro hospital. We see every patient whether via triage or ambulance before they're allowed in the ED.

  78. After I read 10 units of blood and “higher” care facility I thought you meant heaven until I read they lived. Incredible

  79. Not a doctor, but my friend’s nurse said in her 25 years of working trauma he was the worst she’d ever seen. He crashed his motorcycle into a guardrail which mangled his left leg. That impact threw him off the bike, through the air, and into a sign. He hit the sign with his chest. The sign not only ripped off the steel post, but the post bent then ripped out of the ground, concrete and all. That impact broke his sternum which in turn shredded heart muscle. He coded 5 times on the way to the hospital and another on the table. Doctors gave him a 0.001 chance of survival.

  80. My mom is a nurse, a long time ago a lady came at her hospital. She looked like she had triplets , its because she didnt shit for like 1 month. She died of poisoning and was clearly mentally instable.

  81. One time I was constipated for about a week, couldn't eat anything cause it just came up again lost like 11kg, when I was admitted to the hospital and got an enema and presumably muscle relaxer, the end result was like the diameter of a coke can.

  82. I can imagine the pain she was in. I have diverticulitis and ended up with 2 life saving surgeries. About a year after I ended up with a blockage. The pain was so intense I almost passed out but was still able to drive myself to the hospital. Anywho ended up with a NG tube for over a week in which was extremely painful in itself. Idk if the lady went through the same kind of pain but being backed up huuujrrrrtts

  83. Trauma ICU nurse here. Large burly man with oversized telephone pole sidewise through abdomen. The pole was cut off by firefighters on each side. Everything below the pole was dead.

  84. Not a doctor but my mother is an X-ray tech and did X-rays on my friend’s father after he had been stabbed in the throat twice and he had actually walked into the police station with a slashed throat to report the assault before going to the hospital

  85. There was a story on one of the ER shows on TV, this one always haunts me. A person's furnace broke and of course it was the dead of winter so the person went to light the pilot light (hint: NEVER play with the pilot light unless you are trained in HVAC), well something went wrong and the furnace exploded. The way the furnace exploded the explosion went up the stairs to the first floor, and his 2 children were sitting on the top step putting on their shoes, needless to say the father and the 2 children got the brunt of it. What happened to them was not very nice to say the least, months in the hospital of painful procedures to try and heal the burns, and the children were basically disfigured on the faces and arms. The end of the show shows the children wrapped in bandages months later, they had to live wrapped in bandages and went to school like that. Everyone did survive though, but burn treatment is some of the most painful procedures that exist and I can't imagine what they went through.

  86. Med student here: I was on trauma for a month this summer and had two patients the team dubbed "Lazarus" for their ability to come back from the dead. First one got hit head on by a van going 45 mph while he was on a bicycle. Aortic dissection (two places), subclavian artery dissection, grade III liver laceration, grade III spleen laceration, grade III kidney laceration, and only a grade II laceration on his other kidney. Each of those injuries alone carries a mortality rate in the 10s of percents. All together it's amazing this guy survived. He's got some neuro damage from all the clots he through into his brain, but is mostly intact. Other guy had a splenic artery aneurysm rupture out of nowhere. Estimated blood loss of 6L in the OR. You only have about 6 L of blood in your body....had he not gotten a massive transfusion started around the time we opened him up, he would have died for sure. The OR team had a collective 35 years of trauma surgery experience and all agreed that it was by far the most blood they have ever seen someone lose and live. 2 days later the dude was sitting up in bed refusing painkillers, asking how long until he could put his son on his shoulders again, and apologizing for taking up our time when there were clearly sicker people in the ICU that needed our attention.

  87. Man missing both of his arms and a leg after a propane tank exploded under his grill while he was cooking dinner.

  88. Not a Doctor, but at the time I was a Stock Tech for the Critical Care OR. Worst thing I ever saw there was a kid who attempted suicide via shotgun to the chin i'm guessing. The entire front half of his head was gone, including his jaw, nose, eyes, and most of his forehead. At first I was confused as to why they were bringing a body into the OR, but then I heard him gargling as they ran past. Dude was somehow still alive. I had to move on to another area of the Hospital before I could find out what happened to him, but I presume he didn't make it. They were already struggling to keep his brains in his head when they brought him in, so I seriously doubt he survived for much longer.

  89. My stepmom was a trauma nurse in ICU, had also been a ER nurse in a major trauma center as well as life-flight nurse and had decades of experience. She has seen a lot. Much to the same as your story was that a young man tried to end his life with a shotgun resulting in exactly as you described. It really rattled the care staff so much that many of them needed time alone after attending to him. She cried a few times telling us about it which was most shocking as nothing seemed to get under her skin. She was both happy and sad for him.

  90. Not a doctor, but a first responder. Call came out as someone ill. He'd had an online Dr appointment earlier in the day and Dr wanted him to go to the hospital. Arrived and thought he was dead. He was in a recliner with his mouth gaping open. Skin looked awful and one of his feet were turned an unnatural way. His mouth was dry and gums were a tried blood color. He had another large bruise that looked like blood pooling after death around his eye. I've seen people who've been dead for 2-3 days who looked better than him.

  91. Not an ER doc but as a Funeral director I had two really bad ones I had to pick up. One was a 400 pound man that jumped in front of a train. The weird thing about it was he did it right in front of the funeral home. I left the funeral home to pick someone else up at 2:00 am and everything was fine. Came back 45 minutes later and police were everywhere and the train was just stopped. Turned out to be a friend of the gentleman I was working with that evening. He didn’t even know it till we were halfway through clean up and we found his wallet. The other one I picked up from the coroners morgue. When they wheeled out the gurney the bag was just a round ball. I was trying to figure out what position someone would die in to be that shape. The coroner saw my confused face and said he had been hacked up into 20 different pieces. Then said when you open he bag to put the ID bracelet on to very careful so his head didn’t roll out. Those were probably the worst but some other notable ones were suicide by shotgun in the mouth, a guy shot him self on his wife’s grave an hour before I had a graveside service 200 yards away from that section(family that was having the graveside was super upset their service got delayed),husband and wife suicide, a bad one in the hot tub and having to cut someone I knew in high school down after he hung himself.

  92. Not a doctor but I was a labour and delivery nurse and an OR nurse. The worse thing I saw was a pregnant lady being brought straight to our unit from the ambulance (in labour) (we did high risk pregnancy, everyone pregnant skips the ER and comes straight to us)

  93. ED years ago. Pt came in that attempted to commit suicide by hanging. He was distraught that one of his kiddos had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease. His upset wife was bedside. He lived - paralyzed from the neck down, and now burdened his wife in caring for 2 young kiddos, one terminal, and a fully dependent husband. She looked like she really wanted to kill him after that

  94. My mom worked at a hospital and saw an 18 year old guy with a big tree limb sticking out where his eye used to be. It’s probably not the worst, but eye injuries scare the shit out of me.

  95. I was the patient, not sure if I was the worst, but a piece of rebar went through my windshield and through my abdomen just under my liver a few years back while driving down the interstate. Upon walking into the lobby of the hospital, someone immediately said "OH MY GOD!", and I was like "can I check in?" like it was some kind of hotel or something. The receptionist took her focus to the room in general and then immediately noted me specifically, then she audibly gasped once she processed what it was she was looking at, then I collapsed on the floor from internal blood loss. I remember her screaming back for a doctor, and a few moments later, a swarm of them ran out. I don't remember much past that, everything was jaded and then I lost consciousness. I'm pretty sure it was the adrenaline tapering off that cause me to deteriorate so quickly after getting into the lobby. It was a neat experience... it was also... an expensive... experience

  96. My mother worked in a hospital, and she told me the worst thing she ever saw was a homeless guy who had fallen asleep in a dumpster and got compacted.

  97. Not a doctor but worked in an opticians and saw a guy who should have gone to the ER. He had an accident on a construction site in which he was hit on the head and it dislodged his eyeball from the socket. And he walked to the nearest optician and got really arsey with me when I explained he needed the hospital and called an ambulance. He kept saying "opticians deal with eyes though". No amount of me explaining that eye casualty and eye specialists at hospitals are a thing got it across. My optometrist almost fainted when he saw him and we had to try to hide him from kids trying on glasses

  98. Family doc in Canada but do some emerg shifts. Had a patient brought in by her husband when he found her soon after she slit her own throat. That was fun.. she did make it though.

  99. We had a 23 yo girl not wearing her seat belt get partially ejected. Her lower half was outside the car and crushed completely. Hips legs feet all completely crushed and deformed. She came in speaking the last few words about calling her mom and then went unresponsive shortly there after

  100. Aunt is an ER Dr.... Guy (with wife) frantically comes into the ER wearing blood-soaked grey sweat pants...blood all over the lower leg area. Wife is screaming asking for help. Everyone goes rushing into the same room...5 seconds later a nurse comes out and alerts another nurse about the problem: wife was messing around with sticking things into her husband's ( _ ° _ ) ...only this time she put the light bulb in backwards (large end first) ...**cant believe I have to clarify that like theres a right way to insert a bulb into an ( _ ° _ ) **... Anywho the bulb gets sucked up into Hubbys hiney hole...they both panic...so wife tries to retrieve it with metal tongs...zany hilarity ensues as the tongs cause the metal screw-in base to come off of the bulb...so wife tries removing it with a finger...causing the bulb to break apart. Let the red autographs BEGIN.

  101. People need to understand that you can lose your butthole. Your shit will come out in a pouch attached to your tummy, your asshole will be taken away, and your cheeks will be fused together. The butthole is a privilege that you can absolutely lose so only stick butthole friendly toys up there.

  102. Not a doctor but my mother was a nurse. Guy came in after a motorcycle accident, back in the days before helmets & full leathers were commonplace. He had been completely engulfed in a fuel fire and had full body, non-survivable burns. He was burned beyond recognition and she couldn't even hold his hand as there was nothing much to hold.

  103. ER resident doctor. I’ve seen eviscerations (intestines outside the body from penetrating injury), GSW to the head and bullet still in the brain and somehow still conscious. A baby with a skull fracture and suspicious parents. A patient that I had a while back had a fistula between his esophagus and his aorta and was just hemorrhaging into his GI tract faster than we could transfuse him. Flesh eating bacterial infections to the groin area. Many, many necrotic toes/feet+- maggots, often in people who came in for something unrelated. Several fungating tumors. A woman my age who came in as a trauma not once but twice because of her POS boyfriend, the latter time with multiple GSWs. None of them really stick out as “the worst thing,” as I’ve seen many bad things. Thankfully, my life outside the hospital is much more peaceful and happy, though there are certain patients I think of on a weekly basis even years out from when I saw them.

  104. I use to work in palliative oncology but we had people that would come in for end of life comfort and other things. There’s two that have really stuck with me over the last decade. One was a young person, 19-21 years old who had sickle cell. I remember the nurses pumping him up with as much pain relief as they could and I could hear him still meaning in pain from down the hall. It was awful even though not visually so. Another was someone who was end stage liver failure due to cirrhosis (alcoholic) . He was so yellow, his belly was so distended, I remember sitting with him and him hallucinating that I was his son (I’m a woman) and we were in a car and he was telling me all these stories about his life and pointing out different things he was seeing on the road like we were on a road trip. The variceal bleeding was so awful. I ended up leaving that unit of the hospital because I just couldn’t handle the depression.

  105. Obligatory not a nurse/doctor, but my uncle has been a nurse for a long time. A teenager had brought their friend in and said he was hurt. He was definitely hurt meaning his friend was completely decapitated. The decapitated friend had leaned out the window and got his head smashed off by what they assumed was a sign and first response couldn’t find his head in the place were it happened, they did a search of the truck the teenager was driving and found the head in the back of the truck. He said that was one of the worst things he has seen.

  106. reading through the thread, and I gotta say, doctors, surgeons and anyone who's related to these incidents are fucking heroes. my hands are shaking just reading through these, I'm glad we have all of you.

  107. My sister worked in ER in the UK and a guy used to come in every weekend without fail. He used to open up his own abdomen with a knife and then go to hospital when he couldn't sew it up. Apparently he didn't really feel the pain and was clever enough not to puncture his digestive system or hit any main arteries or veins. One weekend he was waiting to be stitched up again and there was a drunk guy abusing the staff in another cubicle. This guy with his guts hanging out went in and told him to stop. Drunk guy passed out at the sight of it. Hard to believe it's true but it really is.

  108. Not an ER doctor, but I read about a case where a man was working on a high pressure cleaning equipment - think of the pressure hoses they use for sandblasting. He didn't know that the hose was live, and somehow the thing pierced his skin and de-gloved his entire body. De-gloved is a term for when the skin separates from the body cavity - its called that because it most commonly happens to fingers on the hand. So basically this guy was instantly skinned alive but then had his skin sitting over his flesh like a suit.

  109. I've been an ER pharmacist (so technically a doctor of pharmacy.... We don't dispense pills in the ER but do actively manage care for patients. Many times I'd see a patient before the MD to give recommendations to the MD for care)

  110. My SIL has worked pediatric trauma for years. I finally had to politely ask that she not share work stories with me. I don't know how she does what she does without losing her shit. I couldn't do it.

  111. During my 2 years in Majors/Trauma the worst thing I’ve seen was a 5 year old boy who’s skull from the chin (mandible) to the top of his nose and Spine (C1-C7) had been partially crushed. He arrived in trauma still barely alive and I’m not entirely sure how given his trachea was flat. He passed a few minutes after arriving.

  112. Not an ER doctor but a former medic. Had to scrape a girl i knew from the train tracks. Parts of her skull, one and a half leg and a hand were missing. She made it somehow. Very much disabled both mentally and physically but she lives. Both the car and the whole crew were a mess after that.

  113. A young girl (12 or 13) who had been so brutally traumatized from being trafficked for years came to our children's hospital ER because she shoved a broken bottle in her vagina to stop the abuse. I can't get the image of the initial pelvic exam out of my head or her eerie calmness throughout the visit. She had been recently moved to a foster home but was completely catatonic and required surgical debridement and will need a life time of cognitive therapy.

  114. A 8yo child who weighed 11kg, covered from head to foot in crusted scabies, begging me for a penicillin injection (which, btw, hurt) because they were feeling so unwell.

  115. ED PA here. Worst thing I ever saw was a 60ish year old man brought in by his neighbors. He had severe anxiety that he treated with alcohol, rarely left the house, neighbors helped him out. Apparently they had been trying to convince this guy to get help for about a year because of a worsening wound on the right side of his face. I have smelled horrible things in the ED and this absolutely tops all of them. He’s wearing a mask and very nervous, rail thin. Eventually allows me to remove the mask and the best description I can give is he looks like two face from his upper right cheek back to his ear and half way down his neck. The smell is horrific and the skin is just sloughing off. Says he was too anxious to come in until now and thought it would go away. Scan revels probably squamous cell cancer with metastasis throughout his mandible and neck at the very least. Transferred out to speciality care. Last I saw ENT did not think he could even survive a palliative procedure to remove the right half of his jaw. I always felt horrible for this man because this would likely have been easily curable if caught earlier but was a death sentence by the time I saw him. He was so nice. ED maxim: bad things happen to nice people. Be more suspicious of badness if someone is nice.

  116. My brother is a firefighter/ paramedic. They arrived to the scene first where a father beat his toddler to death with a golf club. One of my buddies was training to become an emt. They got to a scene where one of the trucks with rail road wheels ran over 3 workers. One guy was basically ripped in half with his insides spewing out. The guy was still alive and screaming “I don’t want to die”. That was the last call my buddy went on.

  117. Former veterinary technician here. Normally the job was great, get to play with cats, dogs, kittens and puppies. It’s occasionally wicked sad (euthanasia) and other times it’s…. Hair raising. Had an older gentleman come in with his cat, plunked the carrier down in the table and said “something’s wrong with this fucking car but I can’t figure it out”. I start out by taking a history; is he eating and drinking? Pooping and peeing? Hiding, peeing on the rug?

  118. I'm not a doctor, but I did find my deceased roommate with a bullet in his head. He struggled with substance abuse issue. First he was addicted to opiates due to a surgery he had on his neck. He went to rehab for that, then almost immediately upon release got addicted to Benzos. When he would go through withdrawal, it wasn't uncommon for him to be tucked away in his room isolated for a few days. His relationship with his girlfriend ended, and was fired from his job for time missed due to his withdrawals. I wasn't home when he shot himself. But after 48 hours of not seeing his truck move, and not seeing him come out of his room, I went to check it out. I had to force his door open and when I did I saw him laying on his bed, with his head leaning backwards over the headboard and there was blood all over the wall. His closest family lived in South Carolina and we were in PA. So rather than making his family go through more tragedy, I cleaned his room after his body was removed.

  119. ER nurse here. Man with severe bilateral leg lymphedema that was untreated. The necrotic tissue led to maggots which covered both legs. It looked like he was wearing full length fuzzy white boots…that were also moving. You are welcome.

  120. I worked security at a hospital for 3 years. Worst I saw was a woman came in complaining of severe abdominal pain. She went absolutely crazy in the waiting room. Screaming bloody fucking murder that it hurt. They get her in the back and before the doc can even check on her blood was leaking out of her pants. Doc rushes in there they remove her clothes and there was so much fucking blood. And it smelled so bad. They got blood bags and started a line but sadly she still passed away.

  121. I worked at a big construction site for a major infrastructure project. Seriously one of the biggest in the world. I was a doctor there, as the campsite was somewhat removed from the closest city.

  122. I worked in the ER doing trauma response/crisis. Sitting in triage one day, a quiet man came to the desk and said to a nurse “my wife is pregnant and waiting to be seen. She’s in the bathroom and has asked to see a nurse. A woman nurse.”

  123. I had a family member that was an emergency responder walking up to a house to do a well fare check because they had heard this teen was suicidal and heard the gunshot. He ran inside and found the kid, put everything back in his skull and proceeded to hold his now spit in half head together until lifeflight got there. Kid survived and a few years later looks pretty good all things considered.

  124. i had a patient with sickle cell disease come in with a vaso-occlusive crisis, ive never seen someone in so much pain. My superiors were all on break so i had to manage him on my own. The conditions you see remain as just conditions in the books, just one more fact to memorize and regurgitate on a book but those cases are as real as that mans pain. He will never find a cure and the only treatment is well outside of anything he's able to afford. he will come in every month or so feeling unimaginable pain and he'll take his analgesics and hard painkillers until he's addicted and depressed. ive never seen a patient cannualize themselves this man was able to, why cause since he was 4 he's been poked at. I cant forget his grimacing face and how his body twisted with pain, the say ischemic pain is the most painful type of pain. One more case with dead end wall. Thats life i guess.

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