Medical Professionals Share The Dumbest Thing They've Ever Seen A Patient Do After Leaving The Hospital

Why did you even bother asking for help?

Follow the doctors orders! How difficult is that rule? Why am I even asking? We're currently in a health crisis because people won't wear masks strictly because doctors say so. It's maddening. If you're not gonna do what the medical professionals say, then why even bother wasting your time and theirs? Why rack up the medical bills that most of us will ever be able to pay. Just stay home with scotch tape and prayer. Let us know how that works out.

Redditor u/vitortrv reached out to all the medical professionals here to see who wanted to vent about the foolish actions of some patients by asking..... Hospital workers of reddit, what was the dumbest thing you saw a patient do immediately after leaving?

Light it Up!

mothers day smoking GIFGiphy

Somebody lit up a cigarette (in a no smoking area) with a nasal cannula on, and lit their face on fire. Had to come right back into the ER.


your nurses are crap!!!

Not a hospital worker but I was in the emergency room due to a sports related injury. Finally got let out after hours of x rays and examinations as I was learning how to use crutches and watched someone with stitches on his arm start stretching like he was going to run all the way home.

He turned around, walked towards the desk and yelled "your nurses are crap!" after the cut on his arm reopened mid stretch. The woman at the desk looked so tired.



I saw someone pull his newly slung arm out of it's sling so he could put his jacket on as he was leaving the ER. He just stopped in front of my desk and started whimpering and yelling "Owwwwww! OHhh!" as he slowly worked his arm around to get it out of the sling and into the sleeve of his jacket. I'm pretty sure it wasn't very cold outside at the time.

I plead for him to stop but he ignored me. It was really bizarre.



hey arnold nicksplat GIFGiphy

Guy was discharged from our emergency room and wanted a cab voucher to get downtown. We wouldn't give him one because he didn't meet our requirements. He walked outside, called 911, and told the ambulance to take him to a hospital downtown.


So Screwed. 

Go out to the carpark, meet their dealer in a car, and shoot up through their IV cannula. Then saunter back into their room as if we couldn't tell??! He got security on him after that to stop him leaving. It just meant he spent his entire stay in the toilets smoking so much we could barely breathe on the corridor and we had to watch his visitors like a hawk in case they passed him something on the ward.

He was a nice guy too. Just screwed up.


Baby You're a Firework...

In the Darwin Awards is a tale of a man in hospital with a skin problem. The staff coated him all over with a cream which is highly flammable, warned him about it and told him to keep away from any sources of ignition. He immediately snuck outside for a smoke. Went up like a roman candle.


"bad luck" 

Not a doctor but.... I knew someone that is a fitness freak to an obnoxious level. She had a medical emergency (intestinal blockage) one day that involved major abdominal surgery and removal of part of her intestine. The day she was released from the hospital, she went back to her insane workout routine, trying to make up for the muscle she lost.

She claims her doctor told her she could. Her intestines ripped open. She barely survived. She still claimed after the fact that her working out had absolutely nothing to do with her body ripping open and it was just "bad luck."


Deep Breaths....

paper bag GIFGiphy

Patient came in for shortness of breath. She was seen and discharged. A nurse saw her walk into the parking lot, jab herself in the leg with an Epipen, and come right back in saying that she's short of breath.


Oh the stories....

  • Inject heroin into their PICC line (big IV)
  • leave to go smoke a cigarette and get hit by car
  • steal from a 7-eleven while in a hospital gown
  • escape from the ER and steal an ambulance senorkose

Off the Rails....

motorcycle jim GIFGiphy

My brother works as a volunteer for the red cross. He mostly volunteers as a medic in ambulances. He told me how they picked up a guy because he crashed his bike after he didn't pay attention and got his tyre stuck in some tram tracks. About 3 hours later he was picked up again after he tried to ride his bike with one hand in a cast. First time round he sprained his elbow, second time round he broke his shoulder on the same side.


we can see inside of you....

I work in medical imaging where patients have to drink oral contrast for their exam.

Some folks really hate the stuff and one patient after being given the oral contrast went outside and dumped it in the bushes and came back in and said that they had drank it. Our front desk lady actually saw her dump it in the bushes and told us about it but we would have seen the lack of contrast in the image even if she hadn't told us. I talked to the patient and was like "we can see inside of you, we can tell if you drank it or not."


have some self control Sir....

When I was a nursing student I did a rotation on a transitional care unit in my first year of school(where people go to wait for a nursing home placement). Had an older man as a client who did not have any cognitive impairment complain about abrasions on his penis. Ok all is well and I call for a doctor to look at it to get some antibiotic ointment for it. The doctor can't come up to our floor for another few hours.

I tell the patient this and leave to go do something else. About half an hour later it's time to go take his blood sugar and guess what I find the man doing? Masturbating in plain sight and his hand and penis are bloody and raw. I literally had to have a conversation with a man my grandfather's age and have to tell him not to masturbate while the abrasions are healing and to take it easier once it was healed.


"tackle football"

I work for a medical device company that makes bone screws. We had a patient sue us for faulty implants - apparently his screws broke less than a month after surgery. This is a big deal, and not just from a financial standpoint, so of course we launched a full investigation.

Turns out the dumb fool decided to play tackle football less than a month after his major back surgery. Our bone screws are strong, but not "tackle football" strong.




Discharged a patient after hysterectomy (removing uterus, stitches at top of her vagina) and she went home and had sexual relations, busting her stitches and allowing for her bowel to protrude through the vagina. Had to have an emergency procedure to fix it.


Bless Me Father.

I had a patient that was a regular, scans every 3 months. He knew the prep and always fasted for 6 hours like we required. I asked all the usual questions and got the exam started. As soon as I inject the medication he mentions in passing how he was at mass that morning and had taken communion!!

This is an exam that is royally messed up and invalidated if a person has consumed anything expect for water in the 6 hours prior to the injection of meds. My jaw hit the floor! When questioned it turns out he's very religious and basically did not consider communion food or drink (host and wine!) Yeah, he had to come back and repeat the test.


Help The Woofie.... 

I heard on my neurology rotation in vet school. They did a surgery on a doberman for wobbler's (neck instability). Dog came back a week after surgery quadriplegic. The owners let it play in the backyard with it's brother and he got tackled. The dog never walked again. :/ I couldn't believe the owners were so stupid to spend 6K on a surgery for a dog and not follow through with the recovery instructions.


Zero stars for Yelp! 

Now retired but one of the things I liked about "my" hospital was the food. We have a lot of immigrants in our area and some wise person decided to hire a pretty diverse crowd of cooks - Jamaican ladies making spicy chicken, Japanese cooks making sushi, Mexican dudes making made-to-order burritos, local barbecue, etc. And it was all very "clean" from a nutritional viewpoint - all of it was inspected by our RDs.

And just about every day I would see patients turn down this excellent food and have their families bring them crap from fast food joints in town.

Edit: well, this caught fire while I was asleep. Yes, the food was good - the barbecue vendor also offered fried chicken. But, the reason I retired a year early is because that hospital was being absorbed into a large health care corporation and we all know that never benefits anyone but the suits. From what my former coworkers tell me, that cafeteria now offers the finest food service meals delivered daily in refrigerator trucks and served fresh from the microwave. Hiring cooks who needed/wanted a job is probably not part of the corporate profit plan.




I feel like I am that person.

When I was 15 I broke my arm. Went to the hospital got a cast went about for a few weeks and got it removed. Great! I have my arm back. Now I wasn't the brightest kid and needed everything explained to me. No one told me not to have an arm wrestle with my fresh out of cast arm.

No one explained it was still healing. 4 hours after having my cast removed I was back in A&E and getting a new X-ray and then a new cast put on by the same nurse who just took it off. I have never seen such disappointment in the eyes of someone who wasn't my mother.


Do Decaf....

A lady came to our ER for tachycardia, and anxiety. The triage nurse, on a hunch, asked what she'd eaten that day, and if she'd had any coffee. "I haven't had time to eat (this now being mid afternoon), and only four or five cups of coffee." Genuinely clueless...


Light it Up!


Countless COPD/asthmatics coming in for wheezing, SOB, rapid breathing. We treat them and the second they feel better they will state, "I forgot something in my car", only to leave and light up a cig.



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