Medical Professionals Share Their Craziest 'They Shouldn't Have Survived' Experiences
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Doctors and nurses have witnessed many medical marvels, which is unsurprising given the fact that there are plenty of cases enough to inspire various medical dramas.

But while there are too many tragic incidents of patients not making it, there are just as many accounts of those who narrowly escaped death and lived to talk about them.


Those in the medical field shared some of their wildest anecdotes of patients cheating death when Redditor HighlightTime asked:

"Doctors and Nurses of reddit, what’s your he shouldn’t have survived' story?"

Result of violence led these lucky patients to the hospital.

The Patient's Hostile Abdomen

"Doing my internship in a local hospital. There are multiple stories about unlikely survival/outcomes, about people who - in my opinion - are immortal beings that like to spite god. Several cases have burned themselves into my brain, but there's one that takes the cake."

"A 31 y/o man was shot, then dropped at the local ER by the same guys who shot him. In total, he had 10 gunshot wounds across his thorax, abdomen, pelvis and legs. The bullets went through almost every single organ, and also broke a femur and a tibia. Needless to say, he was in hypovolemic shock and needed emergency surgery and blood transfusions."

"Look, I cannot tell you how much care has gone into his case. He spent 3 months in the ICU - and he's now at the Surgery floor of the hospital. So far, he's had 25+ surgical interventions (and counting) from three different teams and over 50 bags of blood."

"At one point, one of the teams realized they couldn't completely close his abdomen after one particular surgery, and decided to leave his abdomen open; and several surgeries later, he developed what we call 'hostile abdomen' (the abdominal wall is scarred and everything inside is topped up with fibrous adherences/tissue, to the point that going in for yet another surgery is a hellish experience)."

"He's also had multiple infections, both nosocomial and from his own digestive tract (one bullet entered through the abdomen, pierced his rectum and exited through one of his buttcheeks, and during the healing process, the wound became a fistula that continuously dripped pus and mucus riddled with bacteria in and out of the abdominal cavity), to the point he fell into septic shock twice. Regular antibiotics weren't doing their job no more, so Infectology had to be called in regularly as he needed - and still needs - one hell of an antibiotic cocktail."

"Although he's still not completely out of the woods, at least the surgeons were able to successfully close his abdomen, his infection is currently under control, and his legs are finally healing properly. If you ask me, he'll probably live (if the local gangs don't invade the hospital and kill him before he's discharged, because it almost happened with him a month into his stay)."

– NY38

Doctors discussed medical cases that truly shocked them.

Dangerously Low Hemoglobin Value

"We had a guy come in to ER because he was feeling 'kind of dizzy and out of breath.' They ordered a standard array of labs, and when we (the lab) drew his blood, we noticed that his blood seemed really thin and watery. That was because he had A F'KING 2.7 HEMOGLOBIN. For those of you who know hemoglobin values, I swear on my mother I am telling the truth that this man was both walking and conscious when he came in."

"He even argued about being admitted overnight. We couldn’t even get his sample to run at first. We had to f'k with the sensors for it to register. For those of you who don’t know hemoglobin values, it’s basically measuring 'how much blood is in your blood,' and therefore how much oxygen is capable of being carried throughout your body. Normal hemoglobin is roughly 12-16 or so, depending on age and gender. Below 10 is where they start considering the possibility of transfusion, and below 8 is considered 'critical.' A 2.7 should be dead."

"Since a lot of people have asked, the ultimate cause was severe alcoholism. His liver and pancreas were starting to shut down, so long-term alcoholic anemia coupled with poor diet lead to his hgb dropping slowly enough that his body was able to adjust. He survived and was transferred to another facility after transfusing a few units, but probably won’t live another ten years because of the damage already done." ​-Reddit

"Spam Changes Lives"

"Finally my time to shine. Hematologist here (i deal with leukemias/lymphomas, unexplained anemia, that kind of stuff)."

"My favourite story to tell is of a patient - gonna call him Mr. X."

"Well Mr. X is a 38 year old patient who presented with swollen abdomen, extreme fatigue, peripheral edema and multiple enlarged lymph nodes. To paint a mental image, imagine a huge purple potato with toothpicks for limbs and inflated gloves for hands - wasn't looking human at all. After a lymph node biopsy the diagnosis came: Hodgkin's Lymphoma (HL). Now, HL is one of the few curable diseases if treated correctly: 6 to 8 rounds of chemotherapy, however the subtype was rather aggressive and with poor prognosis so his chances were grim to say the least.""One course of chemo is about a month, but seeing his status not improving after 2 weeks (half a round of chemo) he wanted to be discharged to 'die in his bed in his home,' so he calls his friend to pick him up and off they go."

"One month later, a healthy looking man (fit, groomed) approaches me and tells me he'd like to continue the chemotherapy because he's feeling great. I had no idea who I was talking to until he introduced himself as Mr. X. My jaw dropped to the floor and I sort of rushed to schedule his next rounds of chemo. I asked him what changed his mind about staying and he tells me that on the way home, after about an hour on the road he's got a weird appetite so he asked his friend to pick up about a dozen cans of spam (the european equivalent at least) and he just devoured them on the way home."

"Seeing that, his friend told him when they got home: 'well, X, if you can cram that sh*t in your stomach I'm pretty sure you can take at least two more rounds of chemo'. So there he was - the living proof that spam changes lives. So at the end of chemo (8 rounds), he had what we call a 'Complete response (CR)' - a CR that lasts to this day (5 years later), pretty much equivalent to 'cured' in his case. No idea why I feel proud about his accomplishment but it's one of my favourite story to tell."

– Qvd1

A Near-Fatal Combo

"EMT-B working for a county 911 system. I was a crew of two, both of us were EMT-Bs. We received a call for a 40-something male having difficulty breathing and some chest pain. Once we arrived on scene and walked into the door to his kitchen, he was sitting in a tripod position at the kitchen table about 15 feet from us. He was audibly wheezing and said it was really hard for him to breathe. Assisted him onto the stretcher and into the ambulance."

"Gave the patient O2 and placed him on a 12-lead, BP cuff, and Pulse Ox; transmitted it to the nearby hospital and radioed dispatch to try and have an paramedic unit meet us en route. Wasn't able to, so we made it to the hospital in about 5 to 10 minutes. When we transferred him from our stretcher to the hospital bed, he went into cardiac arrest. After the first round of CPR and cardiac drugs, they were able to sustain a pulse. After a few hours of running other calls, we were at the same hospital and the doctor said that that patient had a Pulmonary Embolism, Widowmaker STEMI, and Stroke, on top of him coding. As far as I know, he survived."

– Destructoid_MK_II

Accidents happen. Fortunately for them, these patients were the lucky ones.

"The Boy Who Lived"

"Young man (early 20s), electrician, working on the roof of a three level new home build. His boss didn’t supply harnessing & he fell onto a concrete pad below. Broke every bone in his face, both wrists & one forearm. I didn’t meet him until three days later on the orthopaedic ward where the nurses were calling him 'the boy who lived' (one of the HP movies had not long come out). Honestly, he should not have survived but he did by some miracle. His young wife was equal parts terrified & furious."

– OldTiredAnnoyed

Not every patient having a brush with death has been fortunate enough to overcome the odds and live on to share their stories of survival.

But the ones who did are very lucky to have crossed paths with the medical heroes who were able to save them with a little bit of help from fate.

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