Skip To Content

    Nurses Are Sharing The Wildest Things They've Seen In The ER, And I'm So Grossed Out

    "We took off the cast, and there were maggots eating away at her exposed bone."

    We asked doctors and nurses in the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the wildest things they've witnessed in the ER. Here are the truly shocking results.

    Note: Some of these stories are kinda gross. You've been warned.

    1. "I did surgery on a guy who, on his 21st birthday, got drunk and decided to sit on the edge of a large fish tank. The glass broke and SLICED OFF HIS ENTIRE BUTT CHEEK! It was bad. There was literally a whole flap of butt meat hanging on by a little bit of skin."


    Meredith in "Grey's Anatomy"

    2. "A female patient was referred to us from a local hospital. She went camping and was bitten on the butt by an unknown bug. It became inflamed, then infected, and had to be cleaned out, which the ER did a horrible job doing. I assisted the doctor in removing the bandage from this poor woman's butt, only to find a gaping, open, festering wound. The smell was horrendous, and the wound was several inches deep. Now I refuse to go camping."


    A surgeon in "Grey's Anatomy"

    3. "I was in the operating room, ready to prep the skin of a severely necrotic foot. As I went to pick up the foot, several toes came off and fell into my hands."


    A nurse in "Grey's"

    4. "A long time ago, a girl came in and was lying on a stretcher at an odd angle with a sheet draped over her. It was my job to fill out her chart and ask some questions, and the horrified look on her face intrigued me. Apparently she had been at a party and used the restroom, and someone before her had decided a 'funny' prank would be to super-glue the toilet seat. She had to come to the ER with the seat still glued to her butt..."

    "...She begged me to call the most ugly doctor they had, but of course I called in the most handsome doctor at the hospital. She ended up needing a few surgeries, but the two of them hit it off and dated for a while!"


    A patient in "Grey's Anatomy"

    5. "My mom was working in the ER. A guy who’d been in a motorcycle accident was brought in, unconscious, with his legs detached and laying across his chest."


    A surgeon in "Grey's Anatomy"

    6. "One night a family came in with an 8-year-old boy. He had been at the laundromat with his grandmother and went to get clothes out of the dryer. You know how sometimes when you open the door, it keeps on spinning? When the little boy reached in to get the clothes, his arm got caught in the spinning mechanism and it literally just ripped his arm off. It was a horrifying sight. To this day, I always hesitate when I take clothes out of the dryer."


    Cristina Yang in "Grey's Anatomy"

    7. "While working in the ER, a man casually walked in with a butcher knife in his eye socket. He was mugged and stabbed. Luckily it just missed his eyeball."


    A surgeon in "Grey's Anatomy"

    8. "A patient came in with an arrow through their skull. The arrow was inserted in the space near the upper eyelid and went several inches back into the skull. It was a typical case of 'hold my beer and watch this.' The patient lost vision in that eye but otherwise made a full recovery."


    Christina Ricci in "Grey's Anatomy"

    9. "I was a nursing student at the time when a huge commotion caught my eye. I asked a nurse if I could step behind the curtain to see what was going on. A man had a jet skiing accident and impaled himself on a wooden pole that was about six inches in diameter. The pole went through his groin and into his abdomen. The surgery team tried to form a plan to get it out of the poor guy. I never found out how it ended, but in the five years I've been a registered nurse, I've never seen anything like it!"


    Dr. Bailey in "Grey's Anatomy"

    10. "A man's fingers on his left hand got caught in a wood saw and were dangling by a few shreds of muscle and skin. The surgeon thought two of the fingers could be saved, but we had to get his wedding ring off his finger first. Since his ring was made of titanium and could not be cut off, this involved using a Q-tip to push bloody fragments of his finger back through the ring to remove it. The man had nerves of steel."


    Cristina Yang in "Grey's Anatomy"

    11. "My brother was an ER tech for quite some time, and one story that will always stay with me was about a man who fell in his workshop. He hit the corner of his eye with the workbench, and it popped out! The poor guy came into the ER with his eyeball in a cup!"


    Surgeons in "Grey's Anatomy"

    12. "A woman recently had her uterus removed and was cleared to resume normal activities. She was hooking up with someone, felt a pop, and came in with her intestines falling out of her vagina."


    A patient in "Grey's Anatomy"

    13. "A husband and wife came in, both slightly drunk. The husband had a huge gash on his left butt cheek – we're talking five inches long, two inch wide, six inches deep. Apparently the wife and husband were hooking up on their bed, with the husband on top. They rolled over to switch positions, and the he fell off and landed on the ear of a ceramic pig, with the wife falling on top of him."


    A patient in "Grey's Anatomy"

    14. "My aunt is a nurse and once had a guy come in with pain in his leg. They took him back and discovered a big, infected cut and a bunch of bumps around it. After trying to dig some junk out of it, they found living fly eggs and maggots living inside his infected cut."


    Meredith in "Grey's Anatomy"

    15. "My brother-in-law was a surgical nurse for 15 years. His favorite story was being involved in the surgical removal of a chunk of cheese out of someone's gastrointestinal tract. It weighed 18 ounces."


    Dr. Bailey in "Grey's Anatomy"

    16. "One guy came in with a mayonnaise jar stuck up his rectum, with the mouth of the jar facing in. He had to go to the operating room where the surgeon had to glue a rod to the base of the jar and wait for it to set before pulling it out. The guy said he 'did it on a bet.'"


    A surgeon in "Grey's Anatomy"

    17. "One night my friend was in the ER, and a lady came in complaining about leg pains. The woman had a cast on the leg because it had been broken, so they decided to cut the cast off to get a closer look. Apparently the woman's leg had been in the cast for over a year, and for some reason she kept it on. When they took the cast off, they saw maggots eating away at her exposed bone."


    Doctors in "Grey's Anatomy"

    18. "I'm a dentist, but sometimes I have to go downstairs to the ER if someone gets an extreme injury with their mouth and really messes up their teeth. Well, one guy got chainsawed through his face, and they wanted me to make sure the broken teeth wouldn't be a problem and prevent him from going to the operating room..."

    "...Apparently the man was cutting through a log, and it kicked back right at him. It tore up the skin really badly but just bounced off the bone, which was so lucky. It could have done MUCH worse damage than it did."


    Nurses in "Grey's Anatomy"

    19. "I worked in a hospital for a very long time, and one of the nurses told me about the time when she had a patient come in complaining of vaginal pain. When they did a pelvic exam, there were roaches in her vagina. It's the worst thing I've ever heard in my life, and if I had seen it I would have been scarred for life."


    A surgeon in "Grey's Anatomy"

    20. "I have a friend who's a radiologist, and she had an elderly gentleman come in with a screwdriver stuck in his urethra (pee hole) because he couldn't relieve himself and was trying to get it out."


    Meredith in "Grey's Anatomy"

    21. "My mother was a nurse, and a guy came in with his foot SPLIT DOWN THE MIDDLE – I'm talking, like, between his toes to his ankle. He accidentally ran it over with a tractor."


    Doctors in "Grey's Anatomy"

    22. "I was a volunteer at a hospital when a guy who was impaled to his scooter chair came in. A drunk driver hit him while he was crossing the street, and he hit a pipe. You could see right through the pipe to the floor. Luckily he survived."


    Doctors in "Grey's Anatomy"

    23. "My worst one was a 6-year-old girl who was sleeping in her mom's bed. Her mom had a hook on the wall that kept her phone charger off the ground. The little girl rolled over and fell off the bed. Her cheek caught the hook, and it ripped her cheek all the way up to her ear, kinda like the Joker. It was totally open and flappy..."

    "...The girl wasn't crying too much and looked like she was in pretty bad shock. They eventually called in a plastic surgeon and stitched it up pretty good. The wound was horrifying though."


    Doctors in "Grey's Anatomy"

    24. "The worst thing I witnessed in the ER took place 20 years ago. I'll never forget it. An older man somehow drove himself to the hospital and was rushed in, covered in blood. I grabbed towels and blankets and packing gauze, and when I got back we noticed that his chest was wide open. He recently had heart bypass surgery and had a coughing fit, which accidentally opened up his sternal incision, exposing his beating heart."


    Doctors in "Grey's Anatomy"

    25. "My mom is a nurse, and the most horrific story she ever came home with was a drunk girl who tried to climb an iron gate with spikes. She slipped, and a spike went through her jaw. Luckily not through her brain. The fire department had to cut out the section of gate she was impaled on, then transport her AND the gate to the emergency room. Ouch.


    Dr. Bailey in "Grey's Anatomy"

    26. And "An ambulance pulled up with a woman wearing a wedding dress. The entire bridal party quickly followed them. The bride had a heart attack on the dance floor at her own wedding. After some time, she was pronounced dead. The scene in the waiting room was heartbreaking. The groom had to be sedated. I'll never forget it."


    A surgeon in "Grey's Anatomy"