*Content Warning: this article contains graphic descriptions of violence and severe injury, as well as mentions of substance use and attempted suicide/self-harm.*
First responders and medical professionals see some pretty messed up stuff in the line of duty; humans are, unfortunately, easily hurt and accidental injuries can get very bad very quickly.
Reddit user u/MyAltRedditAccount1 asked:
"[Serious] Police officers and nurses, what's the most f**ked up thing you have seen on the job?"
Drill a hole in the back of his head
"Guy convinced a friend to drill a hole in the back of his head because he read somewhere that it alters the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to give a permanent high without any drugs. Somehow worked out with no bad effects except that he and the friend just left it open for like 2 weeks and the cut edges of his scalp started rotting. I could literally see into the inside of this dude's brain through the dime-size hole he had drilled (not sure if penetrating the brain itself was intentional or not)."
"But the god d*mn shocking thing is that, except for the infection in his scalp, the guy was otherwise completely fine, told me all about what he did in a totally coherent manner and then extolled the virtues of drilling into your skull over taking drugs."
Heart attack on the stairs
"Had a faculty member of the College I work for have a heart attack on the stairs, fell down and slid down an entire flight of about 30 steps, on his face, each step breaking his nose slightly more than the last. His nose was basically flat and he was pouring blood everywhere, IIRC, lost a few teeth too."
"I used the AED that was thankfully right there beside the stairwell, before I had to do CPR on him, while trying not to get his blood in my mouth, for a whole 14 minutes before EMS/FD got on scene."
"Had an officer show up, and he just stood beside me and watched. He didn't attempt to provide any kind of first aid or CPR relief. (After about 2 minutes of CPR your efficiency drops significantly, I was doing it over 6 times as long.)"
"EMS finally arrived and rushed him to the emergency room and thankfully the guy survived."
"By far, not the worst thing someone has dealt with in this line of work before, but, it was traumatizing none-the-less."
"Ended up being honoured with the first "Life-Saving Award" The College has ever issued."
"I should also point out, I am only a Security Guard, and I was only on the job for 2 months before this happened."
Medical Aid Request
"Got a call of medical aid request, male subject and chainsaw related injury. Showed up and found a male in the middle of the street head in one place body in another. Chainsaw still running. Guy had found out his wife was cheating on him with his own brother, got drunk put the chainsaw up to his throat to show them a lesson the chainsaw teeth caught his neck and just kept going."
As A Nurse
"For me the most f**ked up thing that I see as a nurse, are loved ones that refuse to let their sick and miserable family members pass with dignity . I know losing a loved one is hard, been there, but instead of stopping treatment, they want us to continue doing everything possible for their 90+ year old grandparent. We as medical professionals know that they aren't leaving the hospital or nursing home and family are advised as such, but want us to continue full code status. This means doing CPR and breaking multiple bones when they code."
Sneezed out his intestines
"one of my patients sneezed out his intestines. He had a hernia so severe the skin had stretched to the breaking point so all it took was a sudden increase in abdominal pressure and bam! Edit: to elaborate... he had had multiple surgeries to repair the hernia in the past that all failed. He came into the hospital looking like he had swallowed a basketball, the skin around his belly was very thin and damaged so all it took was a sneeze to rip the skin and all of his bowels came shooting out. Not a single loop of bowel, basically all of it since he had little support in there at all to keep them in place. He survived the initial trauma since evisceration is not as immediately fatal as it may look if the bowel is undamaged but I think he had a very poor long term prognosis."
"In my stint as an RN at the county jail I saw a lot of patients who had either not had the resources or desire to seek out healthcare. One case that really stuck out to me was a middle aged male who was being booked and had a bandage wrapped around his ankle. It looked pretty soiled so a bandage change was offered and accepted. This man had a host of maggots that had made their home inside his ankle that fell out as soon as the old bandage was removed. The clinical term for this I learned is myiasis. I also learned that these maggots had actually been doing him a service and had actively been keeping his wound clean by eating necrotic tissue."
Another wasn't an actual visual "saw", just I was there and saw the whole thing unfold. 17 year-old was brought in for a very feeble suicide attempt. Took a few too many Advil or barely scratched her wrists the short way, something along those lines. She seems like a good kid, just depressed. Obviously in need of some help. Then her parents come in. They look fairly affluent. They start telling her how everyone gets sad and she just needs to deal with it. Doctor and mental health professional decide she needs an in patient stay.
Girl agrees she needs this. Parents refuse. They don't need their daughter sent away with the crazies. Doctor has to get an emergency custody order to have her in patient. Parents leave throwing a fit, threatening to sue, etc. Once they're gone and the girl realizes she will be getting help the look of relief on her face was amazing. Mental health worker comes in and talks with her about how she'll be 18 and graduating soon and to just hang in there for a few months. This was probably 3-4 years ago and I really hope she's doing well."
"A man was paralyzed from the chest down was having phantom feelings on his legs and hips. He felt extremely cold, so for 3 hours he tried to warm himself with a hair drier on high. Being paralyzed he never noticed the damage he was causing. He had severe burns for almost a day before someone noticed and called 911."
"Im an x-ray tech. Had to xray a guy's penis because he stuck little magnetic balls up his urethra. Surprise surprise when he tried to take the string of them out they disconnected and got stuck."
"Former EMT here. I was once working a rodeo event in Chicago which just so happened to be next to Cook County Corrections. Some guy decided it would be a great idea to climb the fence into the prison and got caught in the razor wire at the top. He ended up hanging there bleeding all over the place like some kind of f**ked up Jesus for a few minutes until security could get him down. Pretty sure he ended up fine, just lots of scars."
We send out thanks to all the first responders out there. Do you have similar stories to share? Let us know below.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
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