Those in the medical field see craziness on the regular. How they make it through the everyday with sanity (mostly in tact) is a darn miracle. Everyday life scenarios can be heartbreaking and sad and wild. So the amount of stories those in the profession have could fill the amount of pages we'll never be able to count.
Redditor u/alexiiiyay wanted the people of medicine out there to vent a little by asking.... People of reddit who work in the medical field, what was the scariest/craziest moment you've experienced while working?
"torrent of blood"
Craziest wouldn't have to be when there was a patient who had suffered a shotgun blast to the chest started coding, I was assisting with the CPR, and his wounds were still pretty fresh so "torrent of blood" would be an understatement. MG87
A patient was having essentially last resort surgery on a tumor, 50/50 chance of making it. We have a special OR that is huge that they put these kind of cases in. I don't exactly what happened, but the patient started bleeding and they couldn't get it stopped. They called me because I was the gopher and essentially said, "get everything" which meant, clear the blood bank of all the compatible blood, plasma, and platelets and get here NOW.
Here I am running through a surgical suite with essentially someone's life in my hands, dropping things along the way that other people start running with me grabbing said items. I get in the OR, drop everything off and see they are now on chest compressions. There was blood all over the walls and floor. I witnessed a patient die that day. I was pretty scarred from that and I never went in that OR again. The CRNA was absolutely destroyed over it and he left shortly after even though it wasn't his fault, it was just a bad situation and that patients time. likemong
(think Nearly Headless Nick from Harry Potter)
Sooooooo many stories!! But I'll start with the one I saw when I was still a medical student.
Was in the emergency department when suddenly this ambulance brought in a patient with a huge white cloth with blood stains on it (big OH NO sign going up in my head), later to reveal a broken finger with blood spurting out from the artery just hanging on by a piece of skin (think Nearly Headless Nick from Harry Potter)
Not only did we manage to secure the bleeding, the surgeon did such a great job at repairing the finger the only aftermath from this was a scar. He regained full function of the finger, sensation and motoric function both.
One of the worse things I've seen as a medical student.
EDIT: History of the patient reveals this to be an industrial injury as he was operating a bandsaw and almost saw his finger off (cutting wet wood). Tough-tofu
Obligatory not my story, but my dad's. He's a family practice doctor but he told me this story after he got a page while on call one night from a patient whose daughter, around my age (maybe 15 or 16) at the time, was experiencing a high fever, aches, and a stiff neck, all signs of meningitis. He told the patient in question "Go to the ER, do not stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200." This advice was based on an experience while my dad was doing ER rotations in residency, and was taking care of a girl around the same age with the same symptoms who came into the ER laughing and talking and within the hour was pale and barely responsive.
He said you could watch her get sicker with every minute. With meningitis, minutes can literally make the difference between living and dying. Both patients did end up surviving, but the condition is just so terrifying to me, and I could see on my dad's face that his patient was in trouble. You can be fine one minute and then paralyzed or dead the next and there's really no preventing it. (There is a vaccine for viral meningitis iirc but the bacterial one doesn't have one). GrayGhoast
Not a human medic but a vet-went to a horse that had tried to jump a metal railing whilst still attached to it's carriage, missed and caught it's abdomen on the fence, pretty much eviscerating itself. The hardest part about it was that it was bright and happy and looking for snacks while it's intestines were hanging out. Iamme1980
Watched someone die in front of me while having dialysis. The patient started out looking super uncomfortable and within 34 minutes of CPR, an ICU consult team, the renal team, the cardio team, lots of drugs and fluids, three defibrillations, the patient was dead. It was surreal to see it happen right in front of me, but I am so glad it did because it gave me an understanding of how things can go wrong so quickly and brought the understanding you cannot save everyone. vboak
I was a brand new paramedic, had been out of medic school for a month and just finished a couple of field training shifts and was set free on my own with a brand new emt partner. We get called around 8am for a pediatric cardiac arrest. It was my first pediatric code and my partner's first code ever. We show up on the scene and find an unresponsive 6 week old baby, not breathing and pulseless. Family states the baby was crying a bunch last night and they haven't been getting much sleep. Mom and dad smoke some weed and put baby in between them in bed. Sometime during the night baby got wrapped up in the blankets and suffocated.
They woke up the next morning and found him dead. Family is going crazy and its hard to show up and not do anything even if you know theres nothing that is going to change the outcome. So I start CPR and ask my partner to start getting stuff we need. He is just standing there frozen staring at this kid because he has a child around the same age. I use an IO in the tibia for vascular access and the kid is so small it drills through the backside and is useless. We end up coding the kid for 20 minutes and field terminate. Deliver the news to mom who is unable to say anything but scream. Dad takes off running down the street screaming and collapses 2 blocks later crying. Madhatter1216
ER nurse, penile de-gloving. Never found out the "how" of it. Understandably, the guy wasn't getting too many clear words out. Charlio35
I never knew the term penile de-gloving until today and if I never see or hear it again it will be to soon. gritsandgravy94
I used to work at a residential care facility in the area catering mostly to clients with bad mental health problems and potentially dangerous behavior. Over the years working there, I had done so many restraints and got hurt so many times that I lost count.
Eventually though we got a particularly troubled client. He had pretty difficult behavior in general but he was very strong and had an unusually hard head, which he would use to bash things at times when angry.
One time we put him in a couch-hold and I was behind him with the protective mitts we used for ethical head restraints. I wasn't pay attention closely enough and eventually, he whipped his head back and bashed me right on the nose. I knew immediately that I got a concussion, while I felt my nose was broken and I was in excruciating pain. I had to basically just stumble on over to the main staff area to ask my superior to take over.
Luckily I just got a deviated septum (which I still need surgery for), but I was very traumatized by this and. My nose and right eye were dark red and purple for days and luckily, I started working somewhere else about a week later. Even after almost 3 years, I still remember the pain, the ugly cracking noise, and the anxiety I experienced at the time. theshizirl
literally on the brink of death.....
I work in mental health with teens. Im a peer recovery specialist and also PCA. I was on the dorm (inpatient unit) one night, doing my 15 minute checks. It was a pretty chill day, no fights or upsets with the kiddos. I walk up to one of the rooms and see underneath the bathroom curtain what appears to be one of the clients sitting on the bathroom floor. This patient had a history of suicide attempts so I went in to make sure they were okay. When I opened the curtain they had managed to rip apart a sheet and wrapped it tightly around their neck. Their face was purple, eyes bloodshot, and blood coming out their nose and eyes, literally on the brink of death. It was the scariest thing I had ever encountered. Luckily the nurse got in there quick and was able to cut the sheet from their neck and they survived. jackysiz1
When my buddy got hit in the back by an RPG and I had to sit there telling him it's okay as the light left his eyes. Knowing that all the training as a medic the military gave me there was jack shit I could do for this man. Sporkee
My Econ teacher used to be a firefighter and he told us a really sad story about a crash. They ended up getting a call about somebody who rolled their car on the freeway. When they arrived, their captain pulled them aside after assessing the damage and said, "Listen, he's pinned under that car and is split down the middle. The moment we move the car his organs are going to shift and he will immediately die." They walked up to the guy and asked him, "Do you have any family you'd like to say goodbye to?" Everybody was crying as he told his wife and children goodbye for the last time. termikyu
Under the Skin....
During my internship, I was in the pediatric emergency and a family arrived with two children (approximately 5 years old). One of the brothers had accidentally fully inserted a sewing needle into the other's chest, and it was totally submerged under the skin so it required surgery to remove it.
The problem was that the father was extremely religious and refused surgery. We took a chest x-ray and you could even see the eye of the needle, but the father said it was only a shadow and that God was going to heal it.
It became a race against time because in successive radiographs we saw that the needle moved under the skin of the chest. Luckily we managed to convince the father and the boy entered the operating room. DelAguila182
Massive pulmonary bleeding.
Former hospice nurse here. Massive pulmonary bleeding. We know it could happen, you prepare stuff for when it does happen but seeing someone basically drown in their own blood is messed up.
This guy had a tumor in his lungs and it kept growing and it basically popped an artery. I just laid the guy comfortably in his bed and walked out the room when his wife screamed and I heard something wet splattering on the floor. Ran back in there, saw what was happening, grabbed a stack of dark towels and knelt down next to his bed. Send his wife out of that room.
Spread out some towels but the amount of blood coming out was massive. Grabbed his hands and told him everything would be over soon. He tried to speak but there were only some gurgling sounds. I have never seen a man more afraid. Pure fear in his eyes. He was in shock after 3 minutes and dead in less than 10. Blood congeals really fast. Huge blobs on the floor and my uniform was red and sticky.
I will never forget the look in his eyes and the sounds he made when he tried to speak. Mclovinisawesome
Breathing But Gone.....
In the ER, a woman in her mid 20s is brought in unconscious. She was found on the floor of a store aisle. People thought she just fainted or had a seizure. Turns out she had a massive brain bleed and was brain dead. A healthy woman just enjoying her day will never wake up, and that can happen to anyone anytime. The brother was in shock seeing his sister was breathing but gone forever.
Second one. A man brought his wife to the hospital because she was acting confused. They've been married 40 or so years. Turns out she had cancer all over her body. Stage 4. Biggest problem was the brain. He asked what we could do for her. The Dr had to tell him that his wife would die in about a week. There was nothing to do but make her comfortable. Watching him realize that his entire world is vanishing in 7-10 days was terrifying. Then we had to go in the room and tell the woman that she was dying. I don't know if anyone can fully accept that they're going to die in one week. echristine12
"he isn't acting right"
I am an emergency department nurse and we regularly see blood, gore, and death. You have to become accustomed to it pretty quickly or you will not last long in the profession. The one thing I cannot get used to is the child abuse. Not infrequently we get infants who end up dying because of some horrific neglect or abuse. People will walk-in a blue, not breathing baby and say things like, "he isn't acting right". You hope it is due to abysmally low health literacy but often times it is just terrible neglect.
The scariest crap isn't the gore or death but the angry and aggressive drug addicts. They look like zombies and they have nothing to lose. Most of the time it is just threats like, "I will wait for you to get off and then beat your butt" or "I will find you and murder your family." Honestly, I have had numerous individuals tell me this. Sometimes they get violent and come at you swinging, biting, and spitting and the only thing between you and them is some tiny waif of a security guard making $12 an hour. It can get pretty gnarly. Nurses, who are just trying to help and can do very little to defend themselves, are regularly punched and kicked. We mostly just laugh about it and chalk it up to the nature of the emergency department. CreamedCornFiend
The First Guard....
Okay, so, full disclosure: I'm a clerk. Yes, a simply desk jockey. Real witch made position.
That being said, I see everybody first. Every patient who enters our office, they first come to me. There was one girl being seen in one of our facilities that would stop by and chat me up from time to time. We just saw a lot of each other in passing, with me working there and with her being a regular patient. Her name? Don't know it. Reason she came in? No idea. So we're just chat buddies. Months go by. We kinda click, joke around more. Real funny girl, bright. Smiled a lot.
One day she walks in, shaking. Eyes bugged out. A woman is standing behind her, obviously concerned. The girl asks me to come out from my desk so she can talk to me. She's shivering. Looks like she's not slept in days, but is wearing pajamas, disheveled hair. Sunken eyes. Classic "Oh Crap" appearance. Obviously I oblige and go stand next to her. She turns to look at the woman behind her, turns back to me, leans in. She says, "They're after me. They're going to take me away. That woman is trying to get me to take these pills. I need to see my doctor now. She understands*."*
Turns out she was one of out psych patients, suffered a complete melt down. Stopped taking her medication. After I walked her up, I went to talk to the woman. She was crying, it was her mom. Horrifying to see what can happen to people. I mean, I'm no stranger, I have my problems, but I expect it of myself. To see this seemingly chipper girl do a complete 360* was scary as Hell.
Just remember, you never know. You never know what someone is carrying inside of them. So, be kind. As much as you can. ninetofivehangover
I am studying to be a paramedic in South Africa. While we study we work on ambulances and in hospitals etc.
The first time I went into a red zone (area of high gang presence or previous known attacks on service personnel/vehicles that requires us to take a police van in with us) I didn't really think much of it. Then my elderly gentleman patient and his lady friend get in.
He requires assistance walking but she (the classic hunched-over lady with enormous bag) climbs in and sits down with a smile. Just as she gets comfortable, with her bag on her lap, she looks up at me, smiles and says very calmly and as a matter of fact: "we should go quickly, they might shoot us".
I have seen other violence, what gang shootings look like and people with a lot of physical trauma (attacks etc) but this was the scariest to me. Just the acceptance of it, as the police force in some areas lack immensely and there's not much anyone can do.
I don't want anyone to live like that. JamieLee711
A coworker and I were getting a patient washed up and as we were turning him to the side he said he felt funny and then in the next second liters and liters of blood started gushing out of his mouth and nose. I screamed for help, slammed on the code button and started compressions bc he went pulseless.
In minutes the room was completely filled with staff and I remember as I was doing each compression, more blood would leak from his nose, mouth, eyes and ears. His mom and fiancée were in the background pleading with the staff to help him but we couldn't do anything. He'd had cancer and the disease had infiltrated his vascular system.
All I remember is the blood everywhere, the cracking I felt with each compression and his family wailing when the physicians called it. It was my first code and I'll never forget it. chewybears
That moment when the power went out for a little too long and every single oxygen concentrator on my wing turn off and started emergency beeping.
The backup generator kicked on after like 20 seconds or so but it was the longest 20 seconds of my life, ModAbuseo
Pulling a 15" Optimus Prime figure out of some dude's butt. It was in up to the waist, and as we tried to remove it, the arms went out like a grappling hook. Had to cut it out. (I didn't do the cutting). Magurdrac