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Doctors And Patients Share Their Craziest Cases

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Vidal Balielo Jr.

There is a reason why shows like “Gray’s Anatomy” and “ER” are so addictive: Hospital drama is insane, and not just on television. It’s wild in real life too.

These stories prove that whether you’re a patient, a doctor, or a nurse, being in the hospital means heading straight into a world of high-stakes drama.


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Yale Rosen

My uncle is a respirologist, and there was a time when he was supervising lung surgery to remove a tumor. Well, as soon as they they opened the guy up, they all went white as a sheet.

Turns out, the so-called “tumor” was actually a root ball. Some type of seed had gotten into the patient’s lungs and started to grow. No one had ever seen anything like it before. Reddit User: NoHartAnthony


Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

I’m a nurse. One day, I overheard something between an old couple that to this day I don’t know how to feel about. The husband was on his deathbed, struggling with kidney problems. Sure, it was supposed to be a tender moment between the two.

She said, “You are going to beat this,” she started. Not sure about old people, but she intended to whisper, but I heard her anyway when she added, “You got away with murder, this is nothing.” Reddit User: babybopp


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/NIAID

When I was about four years old, I was diagnosed with child asthma. It was a difficult time for me, and my mum was understandably worried about my health and took me to see a doctor.

The doctor’s diagnosis was not very reassuring though. I don’t know all the details, but what I do know is that the doctor told my mum it was her fault because she decided to have a child despite having asthma herself. Reddit User: steampunkaxl


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/US military

I went in after getting bit by a stupid cocker spaniel because the hand it bit was inflamed, and it looked infected to me. The doctor after looking at my hand just casually goes, “Oh by the way your haircut makes you look like a dude, if you didn’t have breasts, I’d have asked you if the info you gave us was correct.”

I’d shaved my head a couple weeks before as a show of solidarity with my cousin who had cancer. I was too shocked to say anything, and he just left the room. Reddit User: TheAmazingChinchilla



Photo: Pexels/Anna Shvets

I suffocated during surgery due to a series of errors with the nitrous mask and monitors that had been removed and not immediately put back. As I was suffocating, I tried to signal. I realized I was under so much nitrous I couldn’t move.

My ears were ringing. I thought about my husband, and if my daughter would be OK. I cursed the anesthesiologist because one of the nurses said I didn’t look good and he said no one could move until he finished this part.

I remember blacking out, then watching from a corner of the OR while everyone was rushing to work on a pink blob. I could see everyone clearly, but one thing was a blob. I realized the blob was me, and they were trying to resuscitate me.

I intentionally did not go anywhere because I wanted to be there when I was resuscitated so I could be alive again. I just existed in that corner watching the chaos. Then I woke up on the table, bruised but alive. Reddit User: WeedleBeest


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ian Furst

When I was an intern, we had a 22-year-old man with persistent abdominal pain. His symptoms were unexplained as all studies turned up negative. His mother was constantly at his bedside and detailed her son’s medical history.

This, of course, included multiple hospital stays with no definitive diagnosis. I noticed that he would frequently take ill after meals, which his mother brought from outside the hospital. It eventually became clear that he was a victim of Munchausen by proxy.

His mother was purposely making him ill. I had a patient with Munchausen’s when I was in medical school (she was injecting her own feces into her IV), so I was particularly tuned in. Both cases were very sad. Reddit User: Milesman1971


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Nevit Dilmen

In the ER, about six months pregnant, with heavy spotting and no noticeable fetal movement. Idiot doctor is unable to find the baby’s heartbeat. Just looks up at me and says, “Yep, probably dead in there.”


The doctor couldn’t possibly have said it in a more casual, offhand manner. Contrary to what he said, I delivered my son three months later, perfectly healthy. Reddit User: IdleOsprey


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/W.carter

On one floor of the hospital, there is a room where different patients often complain of hearing noisy children playing between 1-4 am. This room is on the far end of the unit away from the nurses’ station and next to only one other room.

The TV is always off at the time. My hospital does not have a pediatric section and visiting hours are over at 2100. Reddit User: hmerrit


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Nevit Dilmen

When my dad was a resident he had a guy come in with a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The guy had been caught with another man’s wife and had been shot while running away naked.

In addition to the shoulder, the patient kept saying he had been shot in the gut. Dad searched all over and couldn’t find a wound. But the guy kept complaining about excruciating pain in his lower abdomen.

X-ray revealed that, indeed, there was a bullet in the abdomen. Took a while to find, but my dad finally found the entry wound… The guy had been shot directly in the butthole. Crazy. Reddit User: jjbutts


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Tomas Castelazo

We had something happen a few years ago where people were hearing mysterious noises back at my hospital, according from what I’ve heard. The hospital authorities then launched an investigation and and what they found out was unexpected, to say the least.

Apparently, there were homeless people living in the walls or ducts or something since the adjacent part of the hospital was under construction. Reddit User: Stargazer613


Photo: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

I had an older patient who kept every piece of paper from every hospital stay and was really aggressive about the treatments we were giving him, like he didn’t trust anything we said and thought we were out to get him.


His heart was in bad shape so I was desperately looking for anything to help our cardiologists out with. While going through the papers, my jaw dropped. I finally found his records from when he had heart surgery. It was in Perris, CA in the 1980s.

I was just reading a book about nurses who became serial killers, when sure enough I see records with the name Robert Diaz. I was the nurse for a man whose former nurse was a serial killer. Reddit User: Zebrog


Photo: Pexels/RDNE Stock project

I’m an RN, and while I was a student I was caring for a lady who had end-stage renal failure, had a DNAR, and was shutting down. We were having a little chat when she stopped, looked over my shoulder.

Then she said “Bill’s here love, I’ve got to go,” before she swiftly stopped breathing. I read her old notes and Bill was her deceased husband. Reddit User: Jesspandapants


Photo: Pexels/cottonbro studio

Wife took our two-year-old daughter to the doctor because she was sick and her behavior seemed to be changing. She couldn’t eat or drink. Our local doctor said that’s how kids are sometimes and told us to just monitor her behavior.

As we were pretty sure there was something definitely wrong, we kept seeing different doctors. Last one said we were acting hysterically, and our behavior was a problem. Five days later, our daughter seemed to have a seizure, so we went to the hospital.

Our daughter had a brain tumor and the doctor at the hospital said this should have been recognized sooner. He was astounded that we’d seen five doctors all blaming us as parents to “just be acting up over nothing.” Reddit User: Xerathi


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Marcos Brosel

Patient comes in coding. We are working on him and getting nothing, so we bring in his wife to say goodbye and she starts yelling at him at the top of her lungs. He comes back so we arrange transfer to a tertiary hospital and he codes again, so she comes back and yells at him again, at which point he comes back again.


Cut to later on, they are loading him into the helicopter to be transferred and he codes again, so they bring him back into our ER after working on him for a bit on the helipad, his wife yells at him again and once again he immediately comes back.

Eventually, they decide to have his wife ride in the helicopter with him to make sure she can scare him back to life if he were to code again. The guy ended up living, received a heart transplant and is still alive to this day—all thanks to his wife scaring the life back into him. Reddit User: feng_gui


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CDC

This is sad, but also creepy, and I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it. Had a 20-year-old kid, gang member, who was dying of primary liver cancer. Super unusual, aggressive, and terminal. He was angry at the universe.

His family was there to comfort him, but he literally spat in their faces. Every ounce of energy he had left was angry and mean and ugly. His mom would beg him to lighten up and accept Jesus into his heart. He would swing at her and tell her to screw herself.

The family remained beside, in hopes he would chill out at the end. His last day, hours, moments, he was angry. The family called me into the room, and told me they thought he was going (he wasn’t responding, Cheyne-Stokes breaths, eyes glossy and skin cold, the end was imminent).

His lovely mother, in her dearest attempt, whispered to him to go towards the light, to her Jesus. With his dying breath, he opened his eyes, looked at her and said: “Screw your Jesus!!!”

A second or two later, he slowly turned his head to the to the left, and got the most horrific look on his face as if he was looking at something we couldn’t see, and horrified, like in a bad movie, his face contorted. But the worst was yet to come.

Then he screamed with his last breath, eyes wide, “OH NOOOOOOO!!!!” then made a guttural noise and promptly fell back into the bed and died. Every family member was shaking and too frightened to speak, and I left the room and took two days off. I don’t care if I never find out what he saw. Reddit User: Lolacsd



Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Janke

My friend had a horrible moment when he was going under the knife. Two minutes into surgery, the doctors noticed his pupils dilating or something. He said it was horrible, he could feel the scalpel cutting into his flesh, the agonizing pain, and the oxygen thing only gave him air every few minutes.

They noticed he wasn’t under and fixed it. But then the dark truth came out. Turns out, the anesthesiologist who put him under was his ex-girlfriend, though no one knew about it, and she likely did it on purpose. The surgery went well, the recovery was a bit longer than expected, but he’s all good now. Reddit User: VirgiIsGay


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Elsie Hui

One day, I got called into a long, six-hour cardiac procedure to ensure a laparoscopic camera was working and able to record. The surgery was nearing the end, so I knew I was about to see something good—they wanted to record something big.

Suddenly, the surgeon pulls out some kind of growth from inside this guy’s heart. This thing was the size of a chicken wing. It was growing through his valve, and I’m honestly amazed the patient was alive. Supposedly the only symptoms were shortness of breath. Reddit User: ELONGATEDSNAIL



I saw a new doctor who seemed a bit…. off. Not sure how to describe it, but he just seemed a bit less than completely there. But we get through the appointment, he prescribes me some meds, and I walk down to the pharmacy area.

I’m called forward and the pharmacy tech asks me some basic questions. “Name,” “Date of Birth,” and “Allergies.” I told her I was allergic to penicillin and sulfa. The prescription was for Hyzaar.

Any medical student can probably tell you how moronic this order was. Hyzaar specifically has side effects for people with allergies to penicillin or sulfa. I’m allergic to both. The tech actually said out loud “What in the actual heck!”


She calls the doctor on the phone and starts chewing him out, screaming “Your pill popping is officially over. You could have killed this patient today because you’re always too high to know what’s going on around you.”

After a lengthy court case, it turns out this doc was “trading scripts” with other doctors in the area for pain pills, was high nearly every waking moment, and could have actually killed me.

He received a sentence of over one year. I’m being a bit purposefully vague to prevent anyone from tracking me down personally (as I had to testify). Reddit User: Paroxysm


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

My brother is a surgeon, and during part of his residency, he had to work in the pediatric unit. He was working with two newborns. One was getting much better and fighting for life. He was going to make it just fine. The other baby was hours from death. He wasn’t going to make it.

My brother was in charge of informing the families. My brother realized about 15 minutes later that he had mixed up the families. He told the family with the healthy baby that their baby wasn’t going to make it, and he told the family with the dying baby that their baby was going to be just fine.

He then had to go back out to the families and explain the situation to them. How devastating. To be given a glimmer of hope and have it ripped away from you not even an hour later. That was most upset I’ve heard my brother. He felt destroyed. Reddit User: AndromedaStain


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/National Cancer Institute

I had been suffering from digestive issues for quite some time and I couldn’t figure out the cause. My doctor seemed to be of no help, as he suggested I should just wipe better. But the issues persisted and I became increasingly worried.

I decided to do some research on my own and found out that digestive problems could be a symptom of a much bigger issue. I didn’t want to take any chances, so I decided to see a specialist. After running some tests, the specialist discovered that I had cancer. Reddit User: chessshark




I work at a gynecologist’s office. One time, this young lady came in to get this stinky smell checked out. As we were checking her, we discovered the source of the smell—and it was worse than I had ever imagined.

We found a feminine hygiene product still up there in her body from the previous month. The poor girl looked mortified and the smell was horrendous. Reddit User: Bag


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

I was doing a corneal transplant when I had the “oh no” moment. During surgery, I cut off the patient’s own cornea and replaced it with a new donor cornea. During that moment when the host cornea was off but before I could get the new one on, there’s literally nothing on the front of the eye except a tear film.

Anyway, the patient takes that moment to start vomiting. The reason we tell everyone to skip food and drink is so they don’t aspirate in case they throw up. This patient lied about eating breakfast and started throwing up everything.

The eye is still “open sky” at this time. Everything inside of the eye can now become outside of the eye. And she’s bucking and vomiting. It’s awful. I had to grab the new cornea and start stitching as fast as I could on a patient actively throwing up. Don’t lie about eating breakfast before surgery, folks. Reddit User: seeing_red415


Photo: Pexels/Anna Shvets

My dad flatlined with a failing heart. When they brought him back the doctor asked where he had been. My dad said he was picking blueberries with his long-deceased mother and his sister. 1,609 km (1,000 miles) away, that sister woke up in the middle of the night, woke her husband and said something was wrong with her brother.

She had been dreaming that she was picking blueberries with my dad and their mom. I get teary-eyed every time I tell that story. He died a few months later. Miss ya, Dad. Reddit User: Canonboy621



Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Cameron Parkins

When I was a nursing student, I was on surgery practicum. We had a guy in who needed an elbow repair. I was pretty useless in everything but emotional support, as I wasn’t qualified, so was chatting to him before he went under. He admitted to having an (un)healthy substance habit. I informed the surgeon, who shrugged it off. This was a big mistake.

Apparently, I should have told the anesthetist, because this dude woke up mid-surgery and was trying to reach for his open arm that the surgeon was working on. Super “Oh God” moment as we scramble to contain this guy’s arm and stop it from touching anything sterile. Reddit User: NecessaryFlamingo


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Presidencia de la República Mexicana

Patient had been in CCU (where I worked at the time) for a long period of time (six months). We had finally been transferred to med/surg floor and he coded. We worked on him for 45 min to an hour and he had no pulse or heart rhythm the entire time. The docs had decided to call it.

His family walks in the room, leans over him, rubs his chest lightly and says his name. He immediately regains a pulse and regains consciousness. How do you explain that one? Reddit User: feng_gui


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Linda Bartlett

When I was in middle school until 10th grade, I would get violent nausea anytime I got hungry. It felt like my stomach was on fire, and I would miss a lot of school from feeling bad (although I was a good student and wasn’t falling behind in any way).

After a lot of fighting with my mother, who accused me of exaggerating, she agrees to take me to a gastroenterologist to be checked out. Before agreeing to do an endoscopy, the gastro accused me of exaggerating because I was a teen girl and that’s just apparently what young women do.

He suggested I was just making up these symptoms for attention, and then asked me point blank if I was lying about my pain level to skip school and suggested I had a mental health issue I was trying to cover for.


Oh, but I proved him wrong. After forcing him to give me an endoscopy, he finally admitted that I had freaking GERD and severe acid reflux. He had to admit that I had “the stomach of an 80-year-old man.” Reddit User: LIFOMakesJesusCry


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/EverJean

This happened to a respiratory therapist that I used to work with. She was working at an old hospital and had finished her rounds on mother-baby. As she got in the elevator to leave, a red-haired nurse on the elevator said to her, “Go back. They need you.”

She didn’t really think about it, she just hopped back off the elevator and returned. A baby had coded and they needed respiratory. Of course, she had no explanation for how that nurse knew what was going on or even who she was.

I don’t believe in ghosts, really, but every time I tell this story, I get goosebumps. That same therapist would swear that she had seen a large cat on the roof of the nursing home we worked at.

No one believed her. Months later, local news reported a bobcat was caught in the city limits near a creek that passed by the nursing home. Suddenly her story was totally plausible so part of me wants to believe this one is too. Reddit User: brazenbunny


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Alberto Giuliani

This is a story from my mom, who was a nurse in the ER for 20 years. She helped care for a patient that had massive gangrene that began as diabetic ulcers. They went untreated and she had already gone through a double amputation at the mid-thigh, but the gangrene continued to spread, leading to her ER visit.

My mom distinctly described seeing this woman’s stump of a femur moving amidst a mass of rotting tissue, its end wiggling like a trapped pencil when they changed her bandages. One nurse had the task of standing in the corner with a bottle of air freshener. My mom said the smell was something straight out of hell.

Unfortunately, this woman’s gangrene spread to her abdomen and there was no saving her. Now I realize why my mom, after being diagnosed with diabetes herself years later, was so darn protective of her feet! Reddit User: Ser_Laughing_Tree



Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Alf van Beem

Guy in the ED for an infection caused by shooting meth into his hand said he had never had surgery. Then when I was examining him and saw his large abdominal surgical scar and asked about it, he told me he had liver surgery for cancer but never finished the chemo treatments.

I was a naïve intern at the time, so this caused me great concern, and I asked him where he’d had the surgery/incomplete treatment, so I could get the records. He told me, signed the waiver, I faxed them, and they faxed me his record.

He had never had cancer but what he did have was maybe worse. We had to do exploratory abdominal surgery to remove the shampoo bottle that got lost in his rectum.

He was the stupidest patient not for the shampoo bottle in the ass, or the meth, or for lying about cancer, but because out of the many hospitals in the city, for some reason he directed me to the ACTUAL PLACE where he had his ass-bottle removal done. Reddit User: Spaceh0rse


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/RENATO20303

I work in the ER. We had a very pregnant patient come in needing stitches in her nether regions. Turns out she was a realtor and didn’t want her water to break while she was showing a house, so she put a glass cup in her pants to catch the water.

Instead of using a pad or an adult diaper, she went for a GLASS CUP. She sat down while showing a house and sure enough, it broke and cut her up pretty bad. Reddit User: Lmao_Turkey


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/jeffreyw

One patient came in for something—can’t remember what—and when we ran tests we found that he had a pH of 6.97! That is on the border of what the body can have and still have any function at all. Honestly, he should have been dead. But he was awake and clear.

We wanted to admit him to the ICU and adjust it with utmost care, but he needed to go home to eat a shrimp sandwich. Yes, a shrimp sandwich. We sat down and talked to him and his mother for 30 minutes, telling them that no shrimp sandwich in the world is worth your life.


We added that if there is something else you need to get help with we can help him. But nope, he left. He came back a couple of hours later and we cured his acidosis. But that must have been a mean shrimp sandwich. Reddit User: Xyzar


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Kelly Nelson

This lady came in and literally half of her face had been basically eaten up by basal cell carcinoma. One of her eyes was completely missing. According to her, it had been this way for years. And here’s the kicker, that’s not even the problem she came into the hospital for!

She had come in for an umbilical hernia as big as a basketball that had been there for months, and she’d started vomiting over the past week so she finally went to the emergency department. Reddit User: 420-BLAZIKEN


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Serpens

I got this from my friend, who is a doctor on the children’s ward in a rural hospital. These parents bring in their child, whose hair is infested with lice. The lice were visible to the naked eye and could be seen crawling on the child’s clothing.

While the medical staff examined the kid in order to determine a course of action, they discovered the child was covered in a white powder and smelled heavily of chemicals. They asked the parents what the substances and the smells emanating from the child were.

The parents said, quite matter of factly, it was Sevin powder (a garden insecticide) and flea and tick spray they used on their dogs on the family’s farm. Needless to say, social workers were notified about this case. Reddit User: Habitual_wanderer


Photo: Pexels/Erkan Utu

I work in intensive care at a small community hospital. We have a nine-bed unit that is completely closed off from the medical floor via two doorways. Two nights ago, we were all sitting at our station and charting when we all heard footsteps coming down the hall.

It’s a completely open unit where you can see every room from everywhere. No one was in the unit with us. CT is below us and they close at five (unless an emergency comes in) and we only have people on the second floor.


The third is used as storage, so no one was above us. It happened two or three times. Then last night cupboard doors kept opening and shutting in the two empty rooms.

I finally asked my coworker what the heck was going on and she just told me that it usually happens after someone passes, especially if it was sudden. We had two codes last week that we lost and I guess everyone has had weird stuff happening for a couple days. Reddit User: SweepTheStardust


Photo: Pexels/Alex Green

Surgical resident here. Had a man in his 60s who came in because he’d inserted a plastic jar full of supplement pills into his rectum. This was already unusual, but when I looked at his chart, I was in for an even bigger surprise.

It turned out that a few years prior, he had done the same thing, it had perforated his bowel, and he ended up requiring an emergency surgery that left him with a colostomy bag for 2 years, and then another procedure to reverse it. So all that happened…and then he went and did it all over again. Reddit User: [deleted]


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Óscar Badillo Pérez

Dentist here. I was performing a simple extraction and preparing for the case when I didn’t realize that I had the X-ray flipped the wrong way the whole time. I was viewing the film backwards, and pulled out the wrong tooth.

When I realized my mistake I started freaking out, only to find out that by some dumb luck, the tooth I extracted had to go as well. For the record, this happened in dental school, so safe to say it was a learning experience. It was my first and very last time to make that mistake. Reddit User: YoureOnlyLameOnce


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Tony Webster

Not my personal story, but from my mom worked as an ER nurse. A man was brought into the emergency room after a car accident and was losing a lot of blood. The medical staff tried to resuscitate him.


In the middle of the process, the man suddenly jolted awake and screamed, “Don’t let me go back there! Please, please, please don’t let me go back!” A few seconds later they lost him. Reddit User: JeremyHowell


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/National Human Genome Research Institute

I had gained a lot of weight around my mid-section a few years back, and my periods stopped. I was scared, young, and thought I was pregnant, but the tests came back negative.

I went to a doctor to have myself checked out and she did some basic tests before telling me, “There is nothing wrong with you, you’re just fat.” I already had some body confidence issues, but hearing it from my doctor, when I was trying really hard to get in shape, really hurt.

I worked hard to lose weight, but my belly wouldn’t shrink. I was starting to feel really sick, and went back to the doctor, who again told me it was that I was just fat. I was crushed. A year later I went to the hospital for something unrelated, and it was discovered that I had a giant Ovarian Cyst, about the size of a newborn.

It was throwing off my hormones, making me gain weight, among many other issues. I have since lost weight and am feeling super confident now, but that doctor really messed me up for a long time. Reddit User: Devornine


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/george ruiz

I was doing a C-section for this poor mom who’d been in labor for hours. The baby wouldn’t come out of the hole we’d made, so we applied more pressure—and suddenly whoooooosh, baby zooms out like a torpedo, covered in lubrication.

She zips over the surgical sheeting, which has the texture of a Slip n’ Slide, and almost rockets straight off the table. The nurse caught the baby’s foot and whipped her up in the air upside down like in old cartoons, but almost dropped her again.

Thankfully, the midwife was ready with the towel and caught the baby to wrap her up. Mom and dad seemed to think this was normal practice and didn’t notice, but me and my colleague just stared at each other with a look of absolute horror.


It still makes me shudder to think how close the baby was to hitting the floor headfirst. Never happened before or since. Reddit User: Bustamove2


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Nephron

For months, I was going to the doctor every Wednesday, because after running just a mile I couldn’t breathe. They checked my lungs and my heart and everything. Yet I still couldn’t run the mile without collapsing at the end.

All of my doctors told my mom that I was just doing it for attention and they saw this kind of behavior all the time. I had a physical scheduled and my mom thought about canceling it. I had seen so many doctors already, why waste the time?

She finally decided I should go, just to keep on schedule. My normal doctor wasn’t there. He was sick and called in someone to take his shifts. She pushed on my stomach and asked if I was sexually active. My response made her panic.

I said I was 11 and hadn’t even started my period, and she rushed me to the hospital. After a sonogram, they said they saw something. That night, I was having surgery. When I woke up, they told me they took out a three-pound, malignant teratoma.

I’d have to start chemo right away. Being the sassy 11-year-old I was, I just smiled smugly at my doctor and said “I told you I wasn’t lying!” I saw him recently, 15 years later. He still remembers me and apologized profusely for not catching it sooner. Reddit User: lightbreaksthrough


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/MariaMagdalens

Not mine, but a fellow nurse that I know. We were talking about patients’ hallucinations when he told me about this time he was walking past a patient’s room, an elderly woman with dementia, and she was chatting up a storm with someone.

He asked her who she was talking to, and the woman replied “that nice man in the black and white striped shirt.” A while later he went into another patient with dementia’s room, and she asked where the man with the striped shirt had gone. Reddit User: polyhooly



Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Harui Lee

A patient had been involved in a major car accident, leading him into my hospital’s private Emergency Room with just a nurse, his girlfriend, and himself. We had the man’s girlfriend remove the patient’s pants. But first, she had to remove everything from the pockets. I never saw anything like it.

She pulled more than thirty ribbons of rubbers out of the man’s pocket. I swear, it looked like a magic trick. They just wouldn’t stop coming out. Safe to say that lady was tiiiicked. Reddit User: superjew619


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Oktay98

Pathologist here, and I have had my fair share of experiences in conducting autopsies. One of the most unforgettable ones was when I accidentally cut myself while performing an autopsy on an HIV patient.

Lucky for me, I didn’t acquire the virus and tested negative, so everything had a happy ending (Well, for me, anyway. That guy was still dead.) Reddit User: [deleted]


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ajay_suresh

I had a fella come into the ER who was stone sober, but only because he had spilled all of his rubbing alcohol onto his pants, which meant he couldn’t drink it.

The reason why he was in the ER if the first place was because he tried to burn the alcohol off of his jeans by lighting the alcohol on fire, thinking the alcohol would burn and not his pants.

He had some pretty rowdy burns from the calves down because he couldn’t get his pants off of his shoes. To be honest, pretty nice guy… absolutely the kind you’d expect to light themselves on fire, but he was very pleasant considering the circumstances. Reddit User: MildlyInnapropriate


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ralf Roletschek

Worked security through college at a local hospital. The only “creepy” thing I remember is when a dead man moaned. One of my duties was to help wheel in patients who had expired down to the in-house morgue.


Once we were wheeling and older man from the E.R. down, and halfway down the hallway he let out this low moan. I started to panic, thinking that he was coming back to life, but the RN explained to me (newbie) that sometimes the air in the lungs doesn’t come out until sometime later, or is delayed for a bit. Reddit User: ill_do_it-later


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Biha

When I was 16 and dealing with partial deafness: “Sometimes being a teenage girl is hard, but it’s hard to parent them too so there’s no need to exaggerate things to make things harder for your parents.

Knock it off, there’s nothing wrong with you.” Two tumors, nine surgeries, and a CSF leak later, yes doctor. There really was something wrong. Reddit User: ur_tears_r_tasty


Photo: Pexels/Jonathan Borba

My parents are nurses. They knew a doc who’d been on a 36 hour shift. Patient came in with a punctured lung (I think) and the doc had to collapse the lung to fix whatever was wrong with it.

Through tiredness, the doctor accidentally collapsed the wrong lung, and the patient didn’t make it. Doc ended up getting fired and ending his own life. Reddit User: Rowley058


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Phalinn Ooi

OH BOY HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU. A few years ago I worked for a medical device company and got to observe a surgical procedure that involves drilling into a person’s brain.

My coworker who had observed 30+ times recommended to the surgeon to increase the patient’s posture angle to 60 degrees rather than 45. The surgeon, like many, thought he knew everything and just ignored his advice.

Fast forward about 50 minutes to the drilling phase, and the surgeon makes a bad drill angle and pulls the drill out too soon before the brain’s internal pressures can even out naturally.

CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) comes gushing out of the patient’s head, onto the floor, everywhere. Not only is this a chemical hazard nightmare, and completely disgusting, but this is a procedure where the patient is AWAKE.


The patient starts noticeably freaking out only they can’t move because they are strapped down and their head is head completely still by the machinery. They must have thought they got abducted by aliens. Darn surgeons. Reddit User: Decker87


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/W. Robert Howell

I was working as a helicopter retrieval doctor in Australia last year. Called at 2am to a car crash in the middle of nowhere. Patient was 150 kg (330lbs.) and 5-feet tall.

So drunk you could smell the alcohol in her blood. Had been ejected from the front passenger seat of a car through the front windscreen. Wearing no seatbelt. She had lain undiscovered for three hours on the side of the road.

The temperature that night was 2 degrees centigrade. Her entire right scalp had been degloved. Blood pressure and oxygen saturation were unrecordable at all times on transfer due to shock, hypothermia, and body habitus. Carotid pulse only. GCS 3 (completely unconscious).

Due to her ENORMOUS obesity any movement of her head from the position she happened to land in obstructed her airway. If she had landed in any other position she would have had no way to breathe and died.

Two hour flight from nearest trauma center. Unable to intubate her without drugs due to muscle tone. It was the scariest moment of my life. Gave her drugs to paralyze then intubate in the middle of a paddock, on ambulance stretcher, under lights, with patient placed in RAMP position.

With best rewarming we could do in the helicopter core temperature was 29 centigrade on arrival in ER. We didn’t carry blood on the helicopter at that time. Survived and discharged neurologically intact. Reddit User: milimbar


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Stephen Craven

I’m currently an apprentice funeral director. During one of our routine removals from a nursing home, as we were making our way down the hallway, one of the patients got antsy and opened the door to his room and saw us walking with the stretcher.


He made a somewhat ominous comment, saying, “I’ll see you next week, boys.” A week later, we were called back to the same nursing home to pick up someone who had recently died. Guess who it was. Reddit User: ICallHerBeeb


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Alex Proimos

Dr.: Glances at my genitals You have Herpes. Me: But I’ve never had sex! Dr.: Oh, stop crying. I diagnose this all the time. It’s pretty common.

Me: But aren’t you going to at least do a test Dr.: Fine, but it’s going to hurt and it’s going to show herpes. [Indeed, it was an allergic reaction to a medication.] Reddit User: Netflix_and_backrubs


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Former medical student here. I remember one young patient, 22 years old, was re-visiting the ER, where he’d been seen six weeks prior for sustaining some abrasions and bruises after falling hard off a skateboard.

He was all scraped up everywhere but had healed up OK. But now he’s in the ER again, feeling awful sick and vomiting. As the third year med student, I was dispatched to the bedside and hung up the CT films on the lightbox, to much finger-pointing and grunting among the surgeons.

I had no idea how to read a CT at the time—I wasn’t even really sure what part of the body had been scanned. So when the surgical resident barked “Prep him for surgery,” I decided to disguise my ignorance and just go for it.

We got him gassed and prepped and I scrubbed in. The surgeon said “Open.” That’s where it all started to go wrong. First, I had to be told what we were doing: The Kocher maneuver, where you basically move the intestines to expose what you want to get it.

By now, everyone knows I’m not with it, but they watch me do it anyway. I slid my gloved hand up, getting ready to grab the entire sack of intestines and move it up and over—but I met unexpected resistance.


I peered up, seeing in my confusion that everyone was edging away from the table. “What’s the trouble young man, get your hand up there and complete the maneuver! Push harder!” A spongy sort of barrier gave way with a sickening stench.

Suddenly, a gushing cascade of grey-brown, bloody pus roared out of the incision, soaking my gown, scrub pants, and shoes before splattering on the OR floor and walls.

The guy had a splenic abscess, as I just found out. After that, the other doctors cleaned it up and mostly cured it. The attending finished up and the patient was good as new. I had to throw out my shoes. Reddit User: sockalicious


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/MRI

My dad had an interesting misdiagnosis a few years back. Since my dad was about 20 or so, he noticed that two of his ribs (opposite each other) stuck out slightly more than the others.

He thought nothing of it, and his doctors always told him not to worry about it. It was especially pronounced when he was lying on his back—the two ribs stuck out about an inch above the others.

Anyway, one day he was forced to see a different doctor for his checkup for one reason or another. The doctor noticed his ribs and asked a few questions. He then strongly recommended that my dad get an MRI done on his brain, as he suspected something might be affecting the bone growth.

Sure enough, they found a golf-ball sized tumor. They removed it without issue and he’s been doing fine since. He switched to that doctor permanently. Reddit User: NoShameInternets


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Madhero88

When I went to the hospital, a doctor said the most terrifying thing I’ll ever hear… “We’re going to have to defibrillate you and we don’t have time to sedate you.” They rolled the crash cart with paddles into my room and I said, “Get that thing away from me!” and almost cried.

My mom was in the room with me and was absolutely hysterical. Thankfully a cardiologist was able to look at my EKG in the nick of time and determined my heart rhythm was stable enough for me to just be transferred to a room for further evaluation without defibrillation. Reddit User: HorseMeatSandiwch



Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Not a doctor, but I have a story about one that screwed up and one that saved the day. My grandmother was seeing this physician because she had multiple issues with heart disease and high blood pressure.

He prescribed about a dozen different medications to fix all her problems. Soon after she started to speak strangely. She would start accusing people of being in the Mafia, and wanted to kill her and the rest of us.

This kind of talk became more frequent as time went on, until finally she just stayed in bed because if she left she would be killed. None of us knew what to do, because who really wants to have their grandmother committed.

During this time, my uncle (my grandmother’s son) goes to the supermarket to do some shopping. While there he meets her old physician, who just happened to ask how she was doing.

My uncle goes into all the details on what we were going through. The doctor then says he wants to look into the case since she was a good patient of his, and asks for the phone number to the house.

The very next morning he calls and says he found what the problem was. The concoction of medications she was given had severely depleted the salt in the body causing her brain to swell.

He was shocked that the other doctor had not realized this before over medicating her. His short-term solution was for us to give her one tablespoon of salt. The long term solution, of course, was to change her medications.

I have never seen such a change in a person before. We gave her the salt in a drink, and within the hour she was completely normal again. It really was an incredible moment for us.

One hour before we thought we were going to lose grandma to some institution, and then the next moment she is downstairs in the kitchen making herself a cup of tea. That doctor saved my grandmother, and I can’t express enough gratitude to him. Reddit User: othwald



Photo: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Government

About two years ago, we treated patients during a fungal meningitis outbreak. Our acute care floor has a census of 20. During this, at least 10-15 were meningitis patients, age ranging from twenties to nineties.

There are no shared rooms and all the patients were in isolation, no contact with one another. Many of them had the same hallucinations, children in the corners of their rooms and auditory hallucinations of religious music. Very creepy. Reddit User: RN_Waitress


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Canwest News Service

Ob-Gyn doctor here, with over 40 years of experience in the field. Obviously, I’ve seen many cases of pregnancy over the years, but I’ve also had my fair share of strange encounters with women.

About once a year would take care of someone in full blown labor, full term, who did not know she was pregnant. Very hard to wrap my head around, I guess the denial power of the mind is substantial. Reddit User: tazwell427


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/National Cancer Institute

I heard an “Oh God” moment happen…when I was a patient on the operating table. A couple of years ago, I was in labor for 28 hours, pushing for six, when my child started showing signs of distress.

The baby had a slightly elevated heart rate. My midwife at the hospital told me the doctor was coming in to check to see if a vacuum assist could help. She checks me. Then I see a horrifying sight.

She immediately stands up with blood on her hand and says “We’re going to the operating room NOW.” At that time, I started feeling that zoomed-out tunnel vision I know is shock.

I had anxiety, but I figured she knew what was best. She did. We got in the OR eight minutes later, and when they opened me up, I heard the surgeon say, “Oh God. Look at this.” They saw blood in my catheter bag, and upon fully opening me up found my son was actually trying to come through my uterus.

He had ruptured it. They got my son out. Those moments where he was stunned and not crying were an eternity.  Then he cried and he was born a completely healthy baby. After I woke up and was back in my room, the doctor came in and told me what happened.


I knew a ruptured uterus sounded bad, but oh darn I googled and started having a massive anxiety attack. A ruptured uterus is extremely rare and often fatal. I read from the time it happens, you have about 15 minutes before you bleed out and the baby is gone.

When I went back for my follow-up, my midwife let me know she had never once encountered that, and it was such a big deal for them that a few days after my birth, they all got together to discuss my case. I was so incredibly fortunate I chose to labor in a hospital, and that the doctor just knew from my vitals and baby’s that something was off.

They just didn’t know exactly what until they got me open. I can’t even tell you how grateful I am for Dr. S. You saved my life and my son’s life and our family will forever be grateful. Reddit User: notcheddrsumcomnbtch


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Iamprovishal

There was this one patient with government-funded care who was implanted with an expensive device. The device was supposed to aid in the healing process, but… but well, it somehow led to a disastrous outcome.

At the follow-up appointment, the patient showed a wide, gaping wound that was infected. Said she thought it would help healing if she had her dog lick it. Device had to be removed and discarded. Reddit User: Craniectomy


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/RAW Labor + Delivery Vlog

I lost 2.5 liters of blood in childbirth. Midwives hadn’t realized, despite me telling them how unwell I felt and that I was going to be sick. It wasn’t until I sort of passed out and remember them saying blood pressure was something over zero.

They hit the buzzers, a lot of people came rushing in and I just laid there for what felt like a long time feeling everything go quiet, but it wasn’t peaceful, just absolute sadness consumed me that my husband was about to be left without me and that my new son wouldn’t have a mummy.

A lot of oxygen, drugs, and a couple packs of emergency blood transfusion later and thankfully, I was OK. Still very mentally scarred by the whole thing. But the main moral of the story is—please give blood if you can.


It’s only thanks to the kindness of strangers my baby has a mamma and bleeding out during childbirth is a lot more common than I ever realized. Reddit User: imfinewithastraw


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Three years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was causing her severe discomfort. After a series of tests, it was determined that surgery was the best option for her.

We were all very worried about the procedure, as it was a delicate operation that would require the surgeon to remove the tumor without damaging the surrounding tissue. On the day of the surgery, we all waited anxiously at the hospital for any news.

Nine long hours later in the operating room, the doctor finally gave us an update. “It went well, for the most part, dropped the top of her skull though.” Just like that, he walked away eating his apple. We were all just standing there like ??????? Reddit User: brookesxs


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/HoRaMi

There was a 24-year-old patient who was brought in from a jail in a rural county. He was working roadside cleanup when he found a bottle in a ditch that he thought contained alcohol and he quickly chugged it down.

To be fair, it did look like whiskey. Unfortunately for this guy, it was the worst possible alternative. It turns out it was a substance that contained sulfuric acid. Its pH was less than 2.5…it just ate up the litmus paper. So shortly after he gets to the ICU he is in excruciating pain.

The gastroenterologist took him to do an EGD (basically a procedure where they can look at the esophagus, stomach and duodenum with a camera attached to a flexible tube) and the pictures were horrendous. You could literally see his stomach and esophageal mucosa eroding away.

He had to be sent off to another hospital where they had an esophageal surgeon who could repair the mess. He, of course, needed multiple surgeries and had a very long hospital stay.


I saw him a few months later when he was admitted for another issue. He was down to 90 lbs. from about 150 and was getting fed through a PEG tube. He was very lucky to be young and otherwise healthy—but obviously not very smart. Reddit User: LedRaptor


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/jbdodane

Night nurse for four years now at an old folk’s home. Had a palliative who couldn’t sleep because of incredibly vivid hallucinations. She would describe voodoo people around her room that would just stare at her waiting for her to die.

I didn’t take it seriously until the lady across the hall (who rarely ever spoke) starting seeing them in her room too. Legitimate shivers. Reddit User: ryank_119


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/marina guimarães

Used to work in a skilled nursing facility. I was usually assigned to the Alzheimer’s ward. One night I’m in the linen room stocking my cart, and I heard someone shuffle up behind me, then I felt a hand on my shoulder.

I turned around and there was no one else in the room. The door was still shut too. Another lady started to complain that a man was coming into her room at night (again, Alzheimer’s so I didn’t think much of it).

So to reassure her, I told her I’d check on her throughout the night. She complained of this man every single night for two more weeks when I asked her to describe him to me.

“He’s real handsome, and wears a black suit. Oh. He’s right behind you now, honey.” That freaked me the heck out. Of course, there was no one behind me. She died the next night in her sleep. Reddit User: [deleted]


Photo: Creative Commons

When I was a surgery intern, I was pulled to help out in a circus of a case. One of our older doctors was doing a simple liver biopsy on a patient and nicked her artery.

Because the patient was already pretty sick, her tissue had the consistency of toilet paper—so every time they tried suturing the hole, the tissue just breaks apart, leaving a bigger, more leaky hole.


Pretty much all hands were on board. The chief residents were scrubbed in, the seniors were literally squeezing blood bags into the patient’s veins, and us interns were runners, going back and forth from OR to the blood bank to transport blood and plasma.

We ended up transfusing over 12 liters of blood, so the patient lost over two times her total blood volume during that surgery. A vascular surgeon eventually swooped in and did a rather slick patchwork that fixed the problem.

Then the surgery went straight into soap opera territory. It turned out that the patient was like a daughter to the surgeon. He literally saved this patient’s life several times already, and they got really close over the years. She even named one of her kids after him.

The poor guy broke down a few times during the surgery and was convinced that he had just killed his daughter. The chief residents had to take over a few times when he was mentally not there. That was his last surgery…He retired the next day. Heck of a way to end a surgical career. Reddit User: lunaire


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/NIAID

So I was like 11 or 12 years old when this happened. I had a hundred acres of woods behind my house, and I loved to play in them. Unfortunately, I am also very allergic to poison ivy. Well, I go out and roam the forest gayly for a few hours. Nothing weird. I eventually come home and go to bed.

I then wake up in the middle of the night with an itchy leg. Now, when I say itchy, I really mean itchy! After a bunch of scratching, I finally pull the blankets down. I immediately do a double-take and go, “What the heck???” My leg is looking like what I imagine the final stages of leprosy to be like!

There are huge raised patches of red disgusting bleeding, pusing atrocities. Needless to say, I started screaming in horror. That escalated quickly. Well, time to go to the Emergency Room decides my mom. After a wait, I’m shown to a room connected to the waiting room.


After a quick look, a nurse comes back with a needle the size of a baby’s arm. Good news, it’s for my behind. Now, I did not want that needle in my behind. I didn’t care what angle, which cheek, or for how long.

All I knew was I did not want that needle in my behind. But screw it, I’m a brave man! So, I dropped my pants and prepared for the inevitable. Well, as soon as she bent down to shove the needle in, I panicked and completely lost all the courage I had just built up.

I immediately started running for the door, and ran straight into the populated ER waiting room. Two nurses, one with a needle in her hand, and my mom were chasing me like a football player in front of this whole crowd. All the while, my lonely pants were lying back on the floor of the examination room.

My bare behind was flailing about for everyone to see. I managed to outlast my pursuers for a few minutes, but was eventually pinned down and pricked, screaming and crying for all the world to see. On the bright side, my itch went away! Reddit User: easy_Money


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Emergency doc

My body was completely infected with sepsis. The emergency room staff had placed me in a tub of ice to try and help fight the fever. I had two IVs pumping I don’t know what all into me. Next thing I knew, everything was dark. I could feel other people around me.

I felt so happy and light. I was free. There was no fear. Somewhere I could hear my best friend yelling at me, “Don’t die. I am NOT raising your children.” My mind snapped to. Immediately, I knew I had to go back.

There was no way I was going to let her near my children. Woke up right afterward and was amazed at how heavy my limbs felt. I have no fear of dying now. I have raised my kids. And she is no longer my best friend. Reddit User: Fiberrugartist



Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Intropin

I very nearly injected a premature baby that had Down Syndrome with ten times the amount of Lasix I was supposed to give him: I had put the decimal in the wrong place when I did the math on the dose.

That baby would almost certainly have died if I’d given it to him. I had the liquid drawn up in the syringe and had the syringe actually in the port ready to push through before I looked inside the chamber and realised how uncharacteristically full it seemed.

Paediatric IV doses of anything are simply tiny. I was supposed to give him 0.1 mls, and nearly gave him 1.0mls. I needed a very large cup of tea after that. Reddit User: JaniePage


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Nephron

I was the patient, and it was a kidney biopsy. I was pretty out of it, but still awake so they could talk to me, laying on my stomach as my kidney doctor worked behind me.

He warned me, “You’re going to hear a click and it will feel like Mike Tyson punched you in the back.” “Ooookayy?” I hear, click, feel the punch, then hear, “Oh, GOD. Get on the phone now.”

A nurse came up near my face to calm me, and maybe keep an eye on me. I don’t really remember everything. Apparently, the doctor had nicked a blood vessel, and I was bleeding internally at an alarming rate.

I got to spend the night in the hospital and peed what seemed like pure blood for about 24 hours. Never try to fit your kidney biopsy in on a Friday before the doctor leaves for vacation. Reddit User: jvhero


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Matthew Paul Argall

My doctor didn’t actually speak, his reaction was worth a thousand words though: he literally rolled his eyes, threw his head back and sighed very loudly…I had been having a semi-regular pain in my abdomen for years.

It was a terrible cramping pain (I’m a man so it wasn’t menstrual in nature) that would double me over in pain and would last for a day or two and then go away. I had seen a few different doctors about it and none of them could figure it out.


I was seeing a gastroenterologist about another problem and mentioned my pain to him. He did some tests, tried a few things, did an endoscopy and told me he couldn’t find anything wrong.

The next time I got the cramping pains I went back to him and he performed his non-verbal routine mentioned above. It would have been less hurtful if he’d just told me I was a hypochondriac. I gave up on figuring out the pain.

Fast forward a few years and I’m having a bout of these cramps. Middle of the night I get up to go to the bathroom. I puke my guts out and proceed to pass out on the bathroom floor for a few seconds. I make it back to bed without waking my wife and somehow fall back asleep.

In the morning I get up and need to puke again. My wife goes with me out of concern and I pass out on the toilet. She calls 911 and I get whisked away to the hospital. Didn’t take too long for the doctors to determine I had a bowel obstruction.

After six hours of surgery and a subsequent week stay in the hospital I’m back home and feeling better than I have in years. Turns out that I had a 99% bowel obstruction caused by adhesions that had been slowly developing on my intestines since an appendectomy that I had in 1980.

The surgeon told me that it was so bad in a few places that my intestines had been twisted on themselves. He referred to it as a “rat’s nest.” The surgery was in March, 2017, and not only have the cramps not come back once, I haven’t felt this great in decades! Reddit User: FopFillyFoneBone