We asked nurses and doctors in the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their wildest experiences in the ER. Here are the jaw-dropping results.
Note: Some of these stories are kinda intense, so consider this your warning!
1. "I used to work in the operating room. We had a guy come in with stomach/bowel issues. He was pretty young, so it was concerning. We opened him up and found a sideways toothpick in his bowel, which was causing the blockage. He had no idea when he even ate something with a toothpick."
2. "I was a paramedic student in an ER, and the oncoming crew came to get me so I could see a patient. When that happens, you know it's gonna be a doozy. The patient was working at a dye factory and got his hand caught in a mechanical press. It had exerted over 1,000 pounds of force on his hand for over 5 minutes. By the time they got his hand out, it was partially amputated and — I cannot stress this enough — flat as a piece of paper. His three middle fingers were just cartoonish looking because of how flat they were. The guy could still semi wiggle what was there and could still fully move his index and thumb. The surgeons were discussing what the heck they were going to do when I arrived, and the general consensus was that nobody had a clue..."
"...I saw one of them prepping the guy's wife to see him, and they were just like, 'I don't know how to say this other than be prepared because it's not good, and be aware that this may have changed his life forever.' To this day, I cannot get over how unreal it looked. Like, I legitimately thought it was fake or that I wasn't seeing it right."
3. "I was on a surgery rotation in my third year at med school. We got a stat call from the ER about a guy who had lost a vibrator in his rectum. A physical exam was done, and no abnormality was detected, but the vibrator was still on (a palpable vibration was noted in the lower-left quadrant of his abdomen). The patient stated that the vibrator had been fully charged prior to use and would last for hours. Ultimately, the attending surgeon wanted to avoid surgery due to the still-on vibrator, which could have led to potential complications. The residents made the surgical intern manually pull it out to avoid surgery. The intern ended up getting it out, along with a couple of hotel-sized shampoo bottles. The patient was discharged home from ER in stable and improved condition."
4. "A family was in a very bad car accident on an interstate. The car was pretty banged up. The fire rescue team got the family out, and the mom realized her child and their car seat were gone. They searched the accident scene and found the infant and carrier about 75 feet down the road, upright, with the infant happily watching them. There was no damage to the child at all from being ejected. I admitted the child for observation, but they didn't have a scratch on them. The whole family was okay. The mom and older child were banged up, but nothing serious. It was the most incredible thing I have ever seen in the ER."
5. "Paramedic here. One time a guy came into the ER with both of his feet bandaged and two bags in his hands. He told us he was mowing the lawn while barefoot and accidentally amputated all of his toes. He then picked up 9 of the 10 toes (the 10th was eaten by his dog), put them in two separate bags of ice, took care of his wounds, and drove himself to the ER. We accomplished sewing back all of his 9 remaining toes."
6. "We had a husband and wife come into the ER, both slightly drunk. The husband had a huge gash on his left butt cheek (we're talking 5 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 6 inches deep). The ER doc asked what happened, and apparently, the wife and husband were hooking up on their bed, with the husband on top. The wife stated that she wanted to be on top, so they rolled over. Well, they were a little too close to the edge, and the husband rolled off the bed and landed on the ear of a ceramic pig, with the wife still on top of him. It wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen in the ER, but it was the most unusual."
7. "I used to be a medical researcher. One time a guy who was houseless came in and was complaining of foot pain. He hadn’t taken his boots off for 18 months. The doctor took one of his boots off, turned it upside down, and a toe fell out."
8. "My sister-in-law is an ODP (operating department practitioner) and would often tell me stories about her job. One time a woman had to have a bra surgically removed from her intestines because she'd eaten it, underwiring and all. I don't think I'll ever be free from the knowledge that there is someone, somewhere, who has eaten a bra."
9. "I saw a man being carted out of the ambulance and into the emergency room with both of his eyeballs popped out of his head and resting gently in each of his hands. He was not panicking or sedated — just sitting there, patiently holding his eyeballs."
10. "Retired ER nurse here. One time I had a woman insert a coffee cup in her vagina, and then she went for a drive. She was hit head-on with a motorhome. The cup broke inside of her. We ended up removing broken pieces of china from her vagina."
11. "One time a kid came in with a pencil through his hand. There was very, very little blood or signs of distress. I think he was more excited about getting to keep the x-ray than the fact that I removed it."