Nurses and doctors have to be quick on their feet and know how to prioritize––they never know what's going to come through the hospital doors. You'd think that'd keep them on edge, but the best medical professionals are skilled at keeping cool under pressure. People's lives depend on them after all.
Still, there are plenty of times when they are surprised or taken aback by what they've encountered. They don't teach you everything in school.
This one was fun:
Patient in ER gets a standard urine drug screen. Positive for ethanol (alcohol.) Patient insists he does not drink alcohol. Test is repeated. Positive. Patient is very upset. He does not drink alcohol. Blood test is drawn. It's negative.
We checked everything we could think of. Did we have the right urine? The right blood? It should be impossible to test positive on urine and negative on blood.
Meanwhile, I finish his regular urinalysis. High white blood cell count, and really high glucose. Elevated white cells means you need to look at it under the microscope because they probably have an infection. It's loaded with yeast.
The man was diabetic, (obviously,) and had high glucose (sugar) in his urine, along with a yeast infection of the bladder. The yeast was fermenting the glucose to ethanol within his bladder. He was The Man Who Peed Beer.
I was in my first year out of family practice residency.
The specialists like to sneeringly refer to us as jack-of-all-trades/master of none.
I was on call from the ER. A normally unshakable ER doc was beside himself. Had a very preterm mom in active labor. And fog wouldn't let us fly her out. He was the only ER doc and the transferring facility wouldn't take her in transport without a physician on board (probably not legal but we needed her to be at a hospital with a NICU and L&D so they called me).
In route I was trying to coach her to breath through the contractions. But she felt something coming out. I looked and saw a foot.
So we're in the back of an ambulance delivering a footlong breech preemie. We delivered about a minute or two out of the hospital.
They were expecting a mom in preterm labor. Not a micro preemie. We were met in the ambulance bay by one nurse. She took a look at me holding the baby with a blanket and oxygen and said follow me.
We ran through the hospital to L&D and turned on an incubator. Peds wasn't in house and the baby's heart rate was low. So I proceeded to intubate her.
That was 12 years ago. She survived and is doing great.
I wrote my program director at 4 am that morning when I got back home thanking him for all the training. I think I used 100% of my training that night.
A patient being treated for HIV purposefully tried exposing staff members to his fluids. That was a sobering experience.
A very panicked nursing assistant came running to the desk one day saying, "you have to come see this! I don't know what this is!"
The NA brought me into a patient's room where she was giving a bath and points to an area on the patient's buttocks. "What is that?"
I lean in for a closer inspection, when the patient starts to turn back around and says, "IS THAT MY EYE?!"
Sure enough, I didn't receive in report that my patient had a prosthetic eye which at some point came out of the socket and became suction cupped to her buttock.
I left the room and had never laughed so hard in my life.
Nurse here, they never taught me to cover up someone's butt with a bed pad as you give an enema. Sh*t can sometimes explode out while you hold the tube in place. The first time I ever gave one my whole arm was covered in sh*t by the time it was over.
Took care of a young man with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He had many complications. He was in the hospital for over a year. He had an ostomy bag for a while, but when they finally removed it he was so nervous because he hadn't pooped in so long. His call light goes off and he says "Go look in the toilet, you're never going to believe this!" I go in there and there is poop in the toilet!! His first solid poop I had seen in over a year! I walked out and gave him the biggest hug. He was so proud of his poop. I walked out of his room with tears in my eyes. Nursing school never prepared me for crying outside of a patient's room because I was so happy they had pooped.
It warms my heart to know this comment made you smile and was relatable to some of you. Good luck to those who are on their own ostomy journey! It stinks (literally) but always keep hope. And always remember: it's the little things. -a grateful peds nurse
How to put a fake eye back in. A patient came in from a a not-so-nice nursing home with a multitude of problems, one of which was a disgusting, draining fake eye that had to be removed for treatment. Upon discharge, we had to put it back in. Simple enough we thought. But we had no idea how and struggled to figure it out. I suppose that is why the nursing home staff never took it out to clean it. This was decades ago. Fake eye technology is probably much better today.
How to react when a patients bowels pop out of their incision. This happened when I was a brand new nurse, but off orientation. Quite a learning experience but came in handy because a few years later it happened to a different patient and I knew what to do.
(You have to keep the bowels very moist, cover with sterile gauze, and patient is rushed to the OR)
Wow. So many things. I think one important thing that was never taught is how to deal with a patient dying for the first time. I couldn't stop picturing his last breaths, the yelling of his family. All of it played through over and over. Hospice is tough, but it still is one of my favorite jobs I've ever done.
When I was a student I accidentally degloved a patient from the elbow down. They were incredibly sick, probably already brain dead, and had one of the worst case of TEN/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis I've ever seen.
Any way I'm in there holding this ladies inside out arm skin like an idiot, with the family standing in the corner horrified, and I just froze.
My first thought was to kind of slide it back on, but thankfully one of the senior nurses rescued me and snipped that shit off.
One of my first dressing changes as a new burn RN involved removing the dressings from a guy's hand. While I am unwinding the dressing, the tips of his fingers crumbled away. I thought I had done something horribly wrong and just froze. THEN my preceptor decides to pipe in "we were thinking that might happen." Like, thanks for the heads up??
The first time I had to tell someone their loved one didn't make it.
Though they address it, no one *really* tells you how to break bad news to someone, how shitty and impotent you'll feel doing it, the fact that you won't be able to answer their panicked questions, what it's like to realize that there's nothing you can say to family members that will truly bring comfort, how shocked or even angry you'll be when some people don't really care about Mom going downhill, how ashamed you might feel when you look back and realize that you're becoming numb to it all after a while. Yeah, you probably had to click through some presentation on the 5 stages of grief at some point and maybe a generic lecture on what NOT to say, but until you've stumbled through it a few times, you're winging it, and probably poorly.
Respiratory Therapist here!
How to act when we unplug the ventilator to let go a patient. Especially when the family is around.
To their defense they do warn us it's going to happen, but it's never until you actually do it that you realize the weight.
I like to talk to my patients even if most are already brain dead at this point (although I did have to unplug conscious patients, that was hardcore to say the least). This gives me a sense that at least if even a small part of their consciousness is still alive at this point, they know they're not alone. I tell myself that at least from now on they won't be suffering anymore.
Student nurse here... How to hide looks of shock when something very surprising or awkward occurs. I remember one time a doctor grabbed me when I was in the hall to hold something for him while he was putting a patient's prolapsed rectum back in. Awkward...
Digital disimpaction. I can only imagine the partnering instructions for that. No one poop for 2 weeks then come to class and buckle up
How to sit in bed and hold your patient as she profusely vomits and delivers her 16 week old dead fetus.
Yes they teach you that compassion and empathy are the backbone of nursing, but absolutely nothing can prepare you for this type of situation.
They never really tell you how to cope with being berated by family members, patients, and even co workers. Part of being a nurse means that you realize you are dealing with people at their most vulnerable, at the worst time in their lives. And you know this in the back of your head. But being an emotional (and sometimes physical) punching bag for days at a time requires a certain mental toughness that you can never really prepare for.
All those things you encourage your patients to do (eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, etc) also apply to you. I know too many nurses who don't take care of themselves mentally, physically or emotionally in a very draining environment. Self care is incredibly important and sometimes we'll lose sight of ourselves in trying to take care of others, but we're of no use to anyone if we're running ourselves ragged.
Edit: First, thanks for my first gold stranger!!! I didn't expect that at all, especially on a comment about how we're not taking care of ourselves. And second, please please please try to take care of yourselves!! I know it's hard. I know we've all seen some shit and have all probably had nightmares from it so it's probably not high on our list of priorities to make sure we're okay. But you're no good to yourself, your loved ones or your patients if you don't. If anyone ever needs to just vent about anything please feel free to just message me!!
As a sonographer, I have to keep a poker face a lot of times when I am seeing something very alarming or sad on the screen. Luckily, most people have no idea what I am looking at so that's a plus. I'm not allowed to give any results to patients (doctors deliver the bad news) so I have to stay neutral. It's really hard.
That dead people can still fart. Middle of the night, all alone with the body and you hear that. Scared the hell out of me!
Hospitals/health care facilities are emotional places, and there are a surprising number of murder/suicides at healthcare facilities. Side product of this is a large number of healthcare professionals who've been in active shooter circumstances. I bring this up first because it's becoming more common around the world in general and we should be better trained and also to bring up that PTSD is already prevalent and under reported in our field and this would certainly be another cause of it.
Take care of yourselves out there.
Nursing school did not prepare me for how decomposed a person can get before they are actually dead. Work in the ICU and patients have horrible bed sores or weeping open skin that just sloughs off their body while we are pumping them with vasopressors and what not to keep them alive. We all have moral issues with this ... It's a terrible part of nursing.
Working as a nurse on an oncology unit, I will never get used to the number of patients that don't make it and we have had 5 deaths in the last month. Cancer sucks.
Pain control related to the specific cancer is something I definitely didn't learn in my one lecture on oncologic care in school. The patients gain tolerance to the drugs and require more and more to keep them comfortable, and you can't think of it as drug seeking or addiction because their tumor burden is just that painful.
Caring for family members at the end of their loved one's life is definitely not something I was prepared for. They will ask you how much time they have left when there is no real way to predict that, they will beg and plead to bring a do not resuscitate patient back, and then there are the ones who show no emotion and it just seems worse.
Compassion fatigue wasn't a topic in school for me. You hear about burnout more often, but compassion fatigue on a total care/difficult to care for patient is important to recognize too.
When you have to euthanize a 91-year old woman's ancient cat who belonged to her husband and when you set the cat on the hospital blanket, you ask the sweet old woman who lost her husband and daughter in the same month, "Would you like your blanket back?" And she answers with tears in her eyes, "I just want my family back."
No, it doesn't get easier.
Registered Nurse here. Nothing in nursing school really prepared me for comfort care patients. Comfort care patients are those that we have stopped all life saving measures on per the patient/family wishes and they are basically just there to have a comfortable death with the help of morphine/Ativan.
Never knew that it was going to be my call when to give patient more morphine, knowing that it may be the dose that makes them pass. Never knew that I'm the one who turns off the oxygen that's keeping the patient alive because the family is ready to say goodbye. What's crazy is that I've come to see it as truly providing comfort. Giving the ultimate comfort sometimes is death.
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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