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Just 21 Wild Emergency Room Stories

Spoiler: there is no limit to what people will stick up their butts.

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their most memorable moments working in an ER. They submitted their responses anonymously and, buckle up(!), here's what they had to say:

1. This extremely close call:

"The man who tried to start his chainsaw with the tip resting on the ground. It kicked to life and then kicked back into his face. Missed his eye by a centimeter and he was able to go home (with a bunch of stitches)."

2. This kid:

"A kid had shoved a popcorn kernel up his nose and didn't tell his parents until it got too hot and steamy in his sinus cavity that it popped."

Bankable Productions

3. And this kid (who is kind of a legend IMO):

"One time we had a kid who ate about 60 Legos."

4. The fitness tracker that doesn't cheat you out of steps:

"A patient swallowed a fitness tracker and it was still recording the patient's steps from their stomach."

Darren Star Productions

5. The fingerless driver:

"A guy drove himself to the ER and handed me a bowl of ice with three of his fingers in it."

6. The smooth-talking elderly man:

"A 72-year-old patient was admitted due to kidney stones and eventually ended up with a catheter. Everyone noticed that he had tons of visitors, all of whom were blonde females under the age of 35. One of the nurses made a comment about how nice it was that his granddaughters were visiting him, at which point he laughed and said, 'Granddaughters? Those babes are from OkCupid!' Not sure why he thought that a date in the hospital watching him pee in a bag was particularly romantic, but I do hope that he landed a second date in the end."

Columbia Pictures

7. The "bloody" McDonald's burger:

"A guy called the ER nurse hotline to see how he could prove that a local McDonald's got blood on his burger rather than ketchup. He wanted an ER doc to run a DNA test so that he could sue McDonald's."

8. The guy who never gave up:

"This prisoner who got out of his handcuffs, took his clothes off, tried to escape, and then ran into a door, knocked himself out, and gave himself a head bleed."

9. The guy who really didn't think this through:

"A man caught himself and his bed on fire while smoking. He was wearing oxygen."


10. The eggs:

"People come in with some pretty weird stuff stuck in their, uh, time someone came in with five UNCRACKED eggs up there."

11. The glass candle:

"One time a patient came in for rectal bleeding. They had stuck a glass candle up there and couldn't get it out."

12. And the cucumber:

"Someone walked into the ER with a cucumber stuck in their asshole."

(Now is a good time to remind everyone of this helpful quiz from BuzzFeed Health: Should You Stick This Up Your Butt?)


13. This all-too relatable incident:

"Chief complaint of, 'I went to kill a spider and ended up with a broken hip.'"

14. And this nightmare-turned-reality:

"A girl called the ED at 3 a.m. because she lost her tampon after having sex with it still in."

Endemol Shine North America

15. The cheating wife and very angry husband:

"One night when I was working my fourth grave in a row, one of the nurses had just gotten a call from local law enforcement that they were bringing in a patient for medical clearance before he went​ to jail. When they arrived, we placed him in a trauma room...turns out, the guy caught his wife with another man and he drove his car through the guy's house. I'm talking about going in one side and driving through every single room. By some miracle he didn't even have a scratch!"

16. This not-so-great catch:

"Catching a tonsil stone in my mouth....gross, horrible, life shattering, and I should probably go to therapy."


17. This rather big surprise:

"Delivering a baby to someone who didn't know they were pregnant!"

18. The naked bear hug:

"A patient took off their purple gown and bolted down the hallway out the door to the exit. Security brought him back after he grabbed a random lady on the street in a bear hug (he was still naked). Imagine being the lady."


19. This super tough woman:

"I had a lady who had been shot multiple times. She had at least 15 individual gunshot wounds. All she could do was gripe about her hair clip digging into her scalp. Not a single complaint about the 20-30 holes in her body. (None of them hit anything very important.)"

20. This inspiring patient:

"Obviously there is a thrill in knowing that you have just saved someone's life and that's always amazing, but the most memorable moments come from genuinely connecting with the people you care for. I once had a patient who was the only member of her family to survive the concentration camps. She gave me advice on how to overcome hardships and grief that I will never forget. Connecting with patients with life experience has given me some of the best life lessons."


21. Finally, this incredibly touching story (I'M CRYING, IT'S FINE):

"While triaging a patient I asked the standard question about drug use. He told me that he stopped using five years ago, and that it was the staff in my ER who had motivated him to get clean. He had come in for a drug-related problem, and our staff was kind and compassionate, but also honest. We told him in no uncertain terms what his future would look like if he stayed on the path he was on. He got into rehab the very next day. Encounters like that are few and far between, but it's one of the reasons most of us got into this line of work."

And...I could never work in an ER. Hats off to all you emergency department employees! You all are the best.


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Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

This week, we're talking about preparing for and surviving the worst things imaginable. See more Disaster Week content here.

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