Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

I use to to believe that I wanted to be a doctor. I really wanted to help save people's lives and I was fantastic at the game of Operation. So I thought that could be perfect. Then one day I fell off my bike and had a pretty hard crash to the ground. The outcome was nothing serious. When I looked down I noticed no skin on my knees, not a ton of blood, but no skin or mutilated skin. No bone or flesh hanging out, no reason to alert 911. I then puked and passed out. It was then I realized... I'm going to let the doctors... doctor and that ain't me.

Redditor u/Master_Painis was hoping the medical people reading would share a bit about days in the trenches by asking... Surgeons of reddit, what was the most fucked up thing you've seen?

I have a feeling all of us should take a deep breath for what we're about to read. And maybe we should have a few shots of something. I get queasy at movies and television shows that take place in a hospital so this should be good.

Behind the Eyes


The brother of this 60 year old guy tried to pull his eye off. Extraocular muscles were all torn, optic nerve stretched, sclera ruptured... he wasn't successful but it was half way done.

The guy was blind of his other eye.

The damage was unsalvable and we had to remove his previously good eye, due to the risk of infection.

So, he was left completely blind.

When we started to prepare for his discharge, social worker asked where was he going to live. "Back with my brother." "But he blinded you!". "Yeah... he was on drug withdrawal, he didn't mean it. And I have nowhere else to go".


The Sweet Lady

Surgical tech - not a surgeon - but this one still bothers me.

The sweetest, tiniest, elderly lady came in for (almost) total body skin grafts and multiple fractures all over her arms.

She was out for her daily walk in her neighborhood, was attacked by two dogs, and left for dead in a ditch for 4 hours. The people that found her drove by her once and thought she was a dead deer.

The dogs had ripped every article of clothing off of her. On their way back, they stopped because they had a bad feeling about it - thank goodness they did.

She was already so frail - it was like a nightmare. The whole OR was pretty much in tears working on her.



My friend is an EMT. He had a call one day about a man who needed transport. They show up to find a 500lb+ man who had not moved for months. His neighbors had been bring him food and he had been sitting in his own excrement. The smell was of death and rotting, to the point his partner had to leave and vomit. They called an additional team to assist with transport. He was complaining about some pain on his butt/legs.

When my friend and his partner moved him to check a horde of maggots emerged from his butt and legs. His tissue was necrotizing. They somehow moved this man to hospital with an extra team. He died of blood clotting a few days later.

Probably the worse case of depression my friend has ever seen.


Oh the Humanity

EMT here. I've seen a lot of messed up stuff, but this one was messed up ethically, not just gross. I got to the scene of a hit a run. Already that is messed up. Then we find out that the first people to get to the scene robbed the patient as he was lying on the ground. So this guy, almost dead, now has no shoes or wallet or anything. I was so disgusted by this. Not the patient himself, I've seen worse injuries and he survived, but by the way the people treated the situation. Very messed up.


Wrap it Up

Greys Anatomy Reaction GIF Giphy

Obviously not a surgeon but the guy going in after me had crushed his hand in a hydraulic press.

He'd wrapped what was left up in a bandage and driven to hospital. Apparently the first nurse to see him in A&E did not appreciate the severity of the injury and had to go for a lie down when they took the bandage off.


I don't have the words. Are there words? I mean how can any of those situations end in survivals. That poor old woman and that eye thing? I can't...



My exes father was a surgeon. Worst he found was old surgical equipment. Inside a previously operated patient.


Hanging Legs

Was a workplace injury that I saw where a 19 year old kid ran over to help the boss because he drove over some 2 7/8 tubing we had on location (service rigs). The truck front tires were spinning on it because the tubing kept rolling with the tires In reverse kind of like a those log rider commercials from years back.

Anyways the kid ran over and put his foot on the tubing and the boss floored it in reverse. The kid was knocked over and the tubing rolled up the backside of his leg so his shin bones snapped in half. He made zero sounds until the tubing was lifted off his leg and the pressure was released. He was carried to the truck and taken to hospital.

To make matters worse the DR in the hospital set his leg before they saw the bones were shattered in multiple places so it had to be unset and then taken to another hospital to be surgically repaired. The worst part was his leg was hanging there like a wet sock.


Guys, booze and fireworks don't mix...

EMT. We had to pick up a guy from our main hospital, a level four trauma center, because said hospital wasn't equipped to handle the patient. We were all a little baffled, cuz, like... level four trauma center; they ought to be able to handle damn near anything. The hospital wanted us to take him to another hospital two hours away.

Patient got loaded up, and we found out why. While drunk off his butt on St. Paddy's, he thought Roman candles would be a great idea. He lit one about a foot from his face. As it turned out, the hospital we were transporting him to specialized in eye trauma,

Weirdest thing about this guy who had nearly blown half his face off was that, despite being on a LOT of heavy duty pain killers, he was completely with it and talkative. I rode in the back with him and speculated on theoretical physics for two hours.

Guys, booze and fireworks don't mix.


Roommate Tales

I had a doctor as my roommate for a year and there are two particular cases he told me about and even showed me pictures as proof.

  1. A guy came in as if nothing's wrong, not even panicked or a single care in the world. When the roommate asked what's wrong then he just pulled out his bloody severed finger from his picket and handed it to him. Just casually like it's everyday stuff.

2. One other guy was brought in and said the last thing he remembered was going into the woods with some pot. When he was brought in, his genitals were just gone. It just looked like he's a Ken doll down there. It was pretty much flat there and from the picture it looked like if you were to use a claw to rip at the skin and just rip off the skin, leaving everything else there. The wound itself didn't seem to go deep at all.

Apart from these he did tell me about gypsy people coming in claiming they fell on something when they were obviously stabbed and such. But those two above kinda stuck in my mind as they were accompanied with photos.


Can't Say

head feels GIF Giphy

The most screwed up things are tough to mention here because, while lots of bad things happen to people, some of the more truly awful stuff might be able to be identifiable.

I will say that in my career I have seen far too many intentional injuries to children that fill me with such anger that years later they still bother me.

Source: Trauma Surgeon.


I'm so glad I didn't follow my original childhood dream. Those are definitely situations I would not be helpful in. I'd be fainting, crying and swallowing tons of meds to get through a day. Bless you medical people... bless you.

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