Doctors Reveal The Most Trivial Ways Their Patients Have Died

Many deaths are preventable, and although doctors do their best to save people, it's often the patients who make poor choices, leading to their deaths. Freak accidents happen too, which just goes to show you how precious every moment is.

Depressed_Maniac asked, Doctors of Reddit, what are some of the most trivial reasons for which someone has died?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

UTI's are easily treatable with antibiotics, but this person decided that "natural" remedies were the answer. She died.

I'm a physician. Female patient of mine in her mid-sixties who had recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) over the years. Decided to see a naturopath for an obvious repeat UTI infection with classic symptoms. Kept going to a naturopath instead of me, even when was developing urosepsis (according to family). Found unresponsive at home, ended up dying due to multiple system failure secondary to sepsis.

Family furious with the naturopath (as am I). Naturopath still in practice, family plans on suing. Such a simple thing to treat. I knew this patient for 10 years and we had a good relationship. Fully believe the naturopath was a competent salesman, but an incompetent clinician. Forced her to buy lots of cranberry extract, homeopathic antibiotic remedies, and god knows what else.

Absolute shame that she passed away due to bad advice and a charlatan selling her lots of non-effective remedies. Still makes me angry typing about this.

"Essential oils" are another scam that cause more harm than good. They cannot cure Parkinson's.

Male patient with Parkinson's and neuropathy. Both were well controlled with medication. His family member thought that essential oils would cure him. He believed them, and quit taking his meds, using tea tree oil instead. Shockingly it didn't work. Patient decided it's because using it topically was the wrong way to go. So he drank the whole 4 oz bottle. He felt the need to vomit and tried to get to the toilet. Neuropathy makes it so you lose feeling in the affected area. He lost his footing and smashed his head into the corner of his hardwood desk. Died of a subdural hematoma.

Essential oils not even once

This is why I have cats.

My uncle was walking his dog. Dog tripped him up with the leash. Uncle falls back, hits his head and dies

Blood clots often go unnoticed until it's too late. Here, one got loose when a woman sat up. That's pretty trivial.

A woman passed away after she sat up to sign my paperwork for admission.

The doctor said he was sure she threw a clot when she sat up.

She died from sitting up in her bed. Technically a clot, but that one simple movement broke it loose.

Well, the cat's certainly alone now.

(Nurse.) Lady with symptoms that really sounded like a blood clot refused to let us call the doctor/send her to the hospital because she did not want to leave her cat alone at home.

This is sad, because ambulance rides are extremely cost-prohibitive and not covered by insurance. Yay private health care.

3-year-old patient comes to the ER in cardiac arrest and respiratory failure after she had a bad asthma attack and went into respiratory distress at his pediatrician's office when there for a regular check-up. The pediatrician called an ambulance but the parents didn't want to pay for the ambulance ride. The child died in the ER after the parents drove her there in their personal vehicle, probably sitting in traffic much longer than needed.

"Natural" remedies are designed to make money, not cure disease. This death was entirely preventable.

Client family attempting to deal with chronic constipation with "natural remedies." Client had Chronic constipation due to abuse of laxatives and enemas - basically rendering their peristalsis no existent.

Tried to speak to the family about it and stressed the need for the drainage tube and specific protocols for managing this. However, they read an article and found natural crap to take which supposedly worked better.

Client died choking on their own feces due to impaction and obstruction.

A stark reminder that the most important stage of exercise is - REST.

A pretty young adult died after he trained too much.

He thought if I just power through the pain and the burning sensation and just train and train and train, that would be effective.

He died from rhabdomyolysis: Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle breaks down rapidly.

Symptoms may include muscle pains, weakness, vomiting, and confusion. There may be tea-colored urine or an irregular heartbeat. Some of the muscle breakdown products, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure.

"Sesame Street" creator Jim Hensen neglected timely treatment for pneumonia, which led to his death.

I asked my spouse, who is a doctor. He says a patient choked on the pill they gave him to relieve the issue he was there for.

I would suggest Jim Hensen is also up there.

Even a tiny cut can become lethally infected.

My dad's great uncle I think, died when he cut his toenails wrong got sepsis and that was that.

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is treatable and often preventable if it's caught early. Lesson: don't ignore infected wounds.

Not a doctor but my uncle passed recently. He was on his way back from the liquor store (alcoholic) on his scooter (suspended license). He took a spill and busted up his ankle. He didn't have a cell phone and didn't try to flag anyone down. Instead, he drank his 30 bomb on the side of the road with a busted ankle. By the time he did make it to a hospital it had festered for too long (days later). He became septic and died from the infection.

This is just plain, unfortunate, bad luck.

My great uncle went out front to get the paper, slipped backward on the ice and cracked his skull, in his concussed state he tried to get back up and slipped forward again, smashing his face right above his nose. He was knocked out and never woke back up.

He was probably the healthiest of all the living siblings, second youngest, and the craziest thing was it was like 40° out, but his walkway was perfectly shadowed by the garage which both allowed the ice to remain and made it more difficult to see.

If he had waited another half hour maybe, ice would be gone.

Slipping, then dying, while putting on slippers. Sad irony.

My grandmother died from putting her slippers on. Ironically slipped and hit her head.

This is why protective gear for sports is so essential.

Not a doctor, however, when I was eight years old, saw my best friend die while playing a pickup game of hockey. We were skating, having a blast playing street hockey when Michael skated into the corner stick blade first. Keep in mind, this was the late 60's early 70's. Injury protection was non-existent. Anyway, Michael skated into the corner and the end of his hockey stick went up under his rib cage and pretty much destroyed his liver. Michael dropped like a rock, turned pale white, and never woke up.

Michael's father's screams during his funeral are sounds I can never forget.

I still think about Michael every day. He was a great dude.

Diabetes is deadly if it's ignored, and there's really no reason to do that.

My grandfather was diagnosed with diabetes and never did anything about it. Lost both his legs, died after 15 years in nursing homes and hospitals, morbidly obese and had a horrible quality of life for at least 20 years.

A trivial, and deadly, series of unfortunate events.

I have a friend whose grandfather died from tossing a peanut in the air to catch it in his mouth, caught it, but choked on it and fell down the stairs while choking on it and broke his neck.

Fun fact: in the Middle Ages, one of the most common causes of death was "teeth."

Story from a friend, who's a dentist:

Man had an abscessed tooth and didn't have the money to get it treated because he had no dental insurance. He died like a month later because an infection got in his bloodstream and went to his brain.

As if unloading the dishwasher wasn't punishment enough...

My aunt was unloading the dishwasher, fell and hit her head on the island and died instantly.

It takes some serious gall to ignore your own flesh rotting away. Imagine the smell.

Not a doctor but I was working in an economy hotel, which was really just a place where people with awful credit lived.

One of the residents developed gangrene in her leg and refused to go to the hospital. Every day it got worse and neither her husband or the hotel manager forced her to get treatment and she died in the room.

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

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Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

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Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!

What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."


"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.


As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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