Physicians see countless patients, but there's always the couple of stories that will always remain in their memory.
Below are stories of the worst injuries a physician has seen. Check them out!
1. I had one guy come in for an eye exam. I note one eye seems a bit redder then the other. He tells me it's been like that since a branch snapped back and hit him in the face three months earlier. I look under his upper lid and there is a piece of wood the size of a tic tac embedded in the underside of the eyelid. Can not believe it did not bother him more.
2. Not a routine checkup, a woman 36 weeks pregnant comes into the doc-in-the-box complaining of nausea, vomiting and pain between her shoulders. We ultrasound her abdomen, everything was fine with the kid. Somebody had the bright idea as long as the ultrasound was out to ultrasound between her shoulders. To our astonishment she had a huge dissecting aortic aneurysm! She had to be survival flighted to a level III place & have a crash C-section and her aneurysm fixed. The aneurysm was at least five centimeters across.
She and the baby both made it.
3. One time my eye was kind of bugging me for a few days. I was rubbing it and looking at it in the mirror when I noticed a tiny little hair in the corner of my eye. I got it with a tweezer and slowly pulled out an 8 inch long hair from my eye socket. It went way back too, felt totally bizarre coming out. It was also coated in eye goo. I have no idea how it got in there. Eyes are weird.
4. Not a physician but a clueless patient. Went to go see my doctor for a checkup, had chest pains waking up that morning, started to feel like someone is sitting on my chest, walked 15 minutes to the physician's place, and apparently after he checked my breathing he told me I had to go to the ER to get my lungs X-Rayed. Spent a week in the hospital for having a 40% collapsed lung. Doctors called it a Spontaneous lung collapse. Really not the kind of spontaneity I'm looking for in my life.
5. Nurse, but, some guy came in with Lefort II and III fractures. Said he fell and hit his head on a (Continued)
Nurse, but, some guy came in with Lefort II and III fractures. Said he fell and hit his head on a tractor step about a week ago. Was just coming for medication refills when we asked about the mild facial trauma (tiny laceration, unremarkable bruising). Denied all pain medication, and very minimally accepted it after surgery only because we practically talked him into it. Maxillofacial surgeon was excited about it, she came down personally to get him and take him up to surgery.
6. Not a physician, but I was doing medical service in Guatemala and we had an older gentleman come in to our clinic to have a checkup, and the entire time he sat there with us, he was resting his arm on what we thought was a bag or purse on top of his leg.
At one point he goes to move, and we see a huge lump underneath his poncho (what we thought was his bag) and ask him about it. Turns out it was a tumor that had been growing for around 10 years on his leg, and he wasn't even going to tell us about it!
7. I'm an ophthalmic technician, basically my job is to do the diagnostic scans and work-ups on patients before the eye surgeon sees them for routine consultations.
One lady came in, referred from her optometrist for cataract surgery, the optometrist did note she had slightly higher than normal pressure in one eye at 23 (normal ranging typically between 10 and 20).
When I checked her pressure it had risen to 35. Normally straight after this I would dilate her eyes so the doctor can see inside, but I told the lady that based on a hunch I wanted to do a scan of the angles between her iris and cornea before doing that. I found that these angles had closed.
Basically, due to her growing cataract, her iris had pushed out, blocking the gap at the outer edge of her iris where the fluid in the eye generally flows. Because of this, the fluid in her eye was very quickly rising. Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma isn't rare, but if you dilate someone's eye who has it, you close those angles even more and eye pressure continues to rise rapidly, causing death of nerves in the eye.
I'm just the tech, but thanks to my hunch and scanning first, I could have saved her sight. The doctor performed laser treatment that day to hold those angles open until her cataracts can be removed.
8. I went to an urgent care and someone must have mis communicated to the doc because I rolled into a room in a wheelchair, and doc asked me about my cold. I said I don't have a cold, but I'm not sure what I did to my leg and rolled up my pants. My kneecap was on the side of my leg. They seemed rather surprised.
They told me to go to the ER immediately.
9. First year nursing student in LA and I was at clinicals when a guy who I had to do a physical assessment on (all we could do since we dont know much) tells me he's been hearing strange cracklings and noises in his ear. I check his ear and it is filled with so much wax and what not. Call my RN advisor and she proceeds to clean out the guys ear. What does she find? Fruit fly nest. Yea, the medical field can get pretty rad.
10. I'm the moron patient:
I had fallen through a ceiling three years prior, and had just worn a knee brace. My employer required me to go to the company doc for a yearly physical.
I'm not a doc, so I can't gauge, but here's the list that came out of that visit:
Torn meniscus, ACL, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto's disease.... and....
The place I went had in house genetic testing and the doc suggested that I should get tested, since I had Hashimoto's and Rheumatoid, to help determine what else I had. It was out of pocket, but I thought, "why not?"
I'm sure it was one of those upsell sort of deals, but it really paid off in my case...
Test found all kinds of crazy stuff that I carried but don't have as of now (most of it autoimmune related), but found Thomsen's disease, which is what those fainting goats have that cause them to "faint". In reality, my understanding is that they don't feint - their muscles involuntarily lock up, and they just physically can't get up.
I have a mild case of it that only effects my arms, but it's estimated that like 1 in a million have the mutation. I have to wear a brace on my arms from time to time if I have to make a very quick movement. I'd had a lot of unexplained muscle soreness that suddenly made sense. Another weird side effect I have is that I have trouble swallowing food from time to time, and if I go all day without eating, it's almost impossible to hold my eyes open by the evening and it has nothing to do whether I'm sleepy or not.
He is my primary care now. Amazingly thorough.
11. I'm not a doctor but I've worked in a couple hospitals before. One of the physicians was telling me a story about how one of his emergency room patients came in complaining of a headache. As the man also had a runny nose, sore throat, and a slight cough the doctor chalked it up to just being the common cold and a layman's ignorance. As the man was about to be discharged, his wife (who was there the entire time) made a comment about her husband complaining about some foot pain. This prompted the doctor to tell the patient to take off his shoes to examine his foot. His big toe was completely black, indicating necrosis. The man failed to mention he had diabetes and wasn't regularly taking his medication. He had to get his toe amputated. Turns out he did have a cold, but he also had necrosis. Just goes to show anything could be a pertinent detail when it comes to medicine.
12. ED doc so hardly a routine visit but a guy comes up to the triage window with his arms over his head, palms of his hands pressed against his ears. "Eh ... I'm in tremendous pain" he says when asked what's wrong. X-ray'd him and found he'd broken his neck. He'd been walking around with it for 3 days
13. My brother once jumped on the front of my white car, grabbing the front pillars with his hands. I closed the door and caught his finger, which he pulled out quickly (as you do) but there was a tiny chip of paint that had come off the car and got lodged under the skin somehow. He must have spent a week or so chewing on it to try to get the paint out, but it just wasn't working so he went to the doctor to see if he could help. After checking it out, the doctor tells him, "The reason you can't get that out is because it's your bone."
Apparently when I shut the door on his finger, I'd broken the tip of his pinkie enough so he could see the bone through the skin and he'd spent the next few days trying to pull his own finger bone out with his teeth.
14. EMT here. The current top comment made me think of this patient.
Had a patient who had gone to his primary for occasional blurred vision that would come and go over the past week. He was sent to the hospital where they discovered an intracranial carotid aneurysm that was almost 5 cm across. Vital sets and fancy doctor work that I am clueless about indicated that rupture was imminent. Our send off from the RN was simply "Drive fast"
15.I arrested a guy after a brief foot pursuit for attempted burglary and several other nuisance charges. He was covered in blood from multiple small scratches when I first found him and had a decent sized gash above his eye that looked like it just needed a couple stitches. Took him to the e.r. to get stitched up and they did a CT scan. Doctor is stitching the guy up and about to release him when the CT comes back. Fractured orbital resulting in an air pocket forming in the guys brain cavity. Turns out the guy dove head first off a rooftop earlier in the night and hit a fence on his way down.
Meth makes things exciting.
16. Got a fever for a few days, had no other symptoms. I know that a fever without other symptoms can be really bad, so I go to the doctor. He says it's probably the flu and sends me home, fever gets a little worse, I call him and tell him it's up to 102, and he tells me to go to the hospital.
I get there, they give me drugs to reduce the fever, and do some bloodwork while keeping me in quarantine (got my own room, which is nice) because they didn't know what I had.
Bloodwork comes back, and I'm septic. They said that it came from too much oral bacteria getting into my bloodstream, and that they usually see it with druggies that lick their arm before sticking a needle in thinking somehow that it's sanitary. I traced it back to a mechanical toothbrush I got and how it made my gums bleed like crazy when I first started using it.
So, yeah...go easy on your teeth if you have sensitive gums. The bacteria in your own mouth can kill you if they bleed too much.
17. When I was 6 or 7, I started feeling very ill. You know, fever, nausea, the standard symptoms of EVERYTHING. Went to my family GP, saw me, and didn't even do a physical examination. Declared that I just had a particularly bad case of the flu.
Fast forward to two days later, I wake up in my bed laying on my back, screaming for my mum (and in fear) because I can't move. Total limb paralysis. Mum, being the good parent she is, made the call to take me to the ER. She mentions that our GP said it was the flu, and it might've been a bad symptom. Nurse, bless this woman, does a physical, finds a tick tucked under my armpit.
Turns out I had tick paralysis, and it was pretty far advanced. According to the attending, via my Mum, if it had been a day (or even five hours, considering what sort of mood she's in when she tells the story) later, I'd be dead because it would've shut down my respiratory system.
18. I was a triage nurse in the ER when a Patient calmly walked up and reported a complaint of pain in my side." He failed to mention the blood and the handle of the butcher knife sticking out of the left lower quadrant of his abdomen.
He was a homeless schizophrenic who had been stabbed and had calmly walked into the ER and waited his turn to be seen. I am just glad he came in at All.
We also get a lot of people who come in for other things-a sore throat or a cough, and when doing a skin assessing we find huge pressure ulcers or gangrenous feet. I have twice had a patients toe come off when I removed their sock. Neither time had they come to the ER for that issue.
19. Guy shows up for a discharge physical (marine). Noticed what looked like cellulitis on his leg. Turns out it was a brown recluse bite that he ignored. Had a fist sized hole of dead tissue in his leg. We treated it with maggots for a few days. It healed over with a very nasty dent/scar.
20. One day this woman came in with her friends, all drunk and high. She was holding her eyeball. Somehow she managed to get hit in the face by a pair of heels and it pulled out her eyeball in the process.
The kicker is after surgery and all that, she still seemed cheerful and even asked my aunt when her eyesight would recover. Apparently she was under the impression that her eyeball could be reattached.