What was the WORST thing a patient has been brought to ER for?

  1. Let's have some stories about those traumas that you talk about for days in you ER's!
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  2. 175 Comments

  3. by   911fltrn
    I had a great one about a month ago. Guy walks in shot thru both radial arteries. Hes holding his arms straight out, both pumping like gysers. Dont know why he didnt push against his chest with them. Its a sight i wont ever forget.
  4. by   CaseManager1947
    Hi all-- I have so many, I worked in ER as a Nurse Tech (back in the days when that was allowed) 1967, actually. 1.) We got this gentleman in from a service station in small town Ks. somewhere. He had been working on a tire, to inflate it, and it blew up in his face, the rim slicing his face in two. He was awake, moaning, bleeding severely from this huge facial wound. They had him on his stomach on the gurney, and this I won't forget. They rolled him over, to better assess things, and the face just flopped over to the side. Now, they tell me to go up top and keep suctioning and keep the airway protected!!!. I mean salivary glands all exposed, teeth maxilla, lost one eye,I was never so scared in my life, feeling this was a task for someone more experienced and trained. But, I manged it ok until they rushed him to surgery. Believe me, things were much more primitive 39 years ago than they are today! Whew. 2) the second most memorable one was an 18 year old kid, who was working the highway project for his dad's construction company for his summer job, before starting college. He was sitting atop one of the metal beams, that they use a huge pneumatic press to push into the ground, to support the highway structure. Anyway, he slipped, and the pile driver came down between his legs. They applied MAST trousers in the field, and everybody did what they could but he just bled to death. So young and so very sad. His father later killed himself.
    Very sad.

    Morghan
  5. by   Crocuta
    When I precepted in the ER, we had a guy come in from a sawmill accident. The saw blade blasted through the top of his foot, shreding his shoe and removing most of the meat, but left the tendons intact, so as he wiggled his toes, you could watch the tendons pulling back and forth. The dorsalis pedis artery was also intact and exposed, so you could see the pulsing. Very cool.
  6. by   TazziRN
    Middle of the night, we got a frantic call from the medics that they were bringing in a scoop and run, a teenaged boy who had been stabbed in the chest about a block from the ER. He was a traumatic arrest; although none of us expected him to survive, we went through the motions. Someone called the thoracic surgeon and he got there right after we cracked the boy's chest. The blade had penetrated the heart and sliced it up pretty good. The surgeon grabbed some gloves and started repairing the heart right there in the ER, and we were all stunned when he shocked the heart with the internal paddles and it started beating again. Sent him off to ICU and fully expected him to die from sepsis since the repair had been done in the ER rather than in the sterility of the OR. I was shocked into silence when, about a year later, a boy came in with some complaint, and when he took his shirt off and I saw the scar on his chest, I realized it was the same boy. That is the first and only time I have ever seen a traumatic arrest survive after having the chest cracked.
  7. by   LilRedRN1973
    I was not working in the ER, but this patient came us (ICU) after stabilizing in the ER. She decided to take her life and used duct tape to attach a 9-inch butcher knife to the steering wheel of her minivan. She got into her car, accelerated, and then slammed on the brakes....while not wearing a seatbelt. When she came through the ER, the butcher knife was still in her, sticking out perpendicular to her chest. It missed her heart by just a few cm, from what I understand. She lived.

    Melanie = )
  8. by   LuvMyGamecocks
    Others not in this profession (or like me, studying to be in the profession) probably couldn't understand the morbid curiosity, but keep them coming!!
  9. by   TazziRN
    I remember one that I saw on a documentary about an ER many moons ago: a man stabbed in the chest still had the knife embedded, and it was moving with each beat of his heart. The docs were freaking out, trying to figure out how to remove it without killing him. They took him to the OR, and on the film you could hear all of them saying "Oh my God!" over and over.....the blade of a huge kitchen knife (chef's, butcher, etc.) was right up against the side of the heart and had not penetrated it!
  10. by   errn7
    So many to choose from..kinda like "dumb crook news"
    Anyways one was a guy who was out mowing his yard he and disconnected the kill switch on his seat ended rolling his John Deere and trying to jump but jumped the wrong way ended up landing on the upturned mower deck with the blade taking a swipe through his left butt cheek. The laceration was big and deep enough for the MD's closed fist......nothing critical but meat involved.

    A local pastor who lived close to the river kept a 22 cal. derringer in his pocket to kill the water snakes that would wander up into his yard and carport. He came home and found one and reached into his pocket as he was pulling it out it discharged shooting him in the leg. By the time he got to the ER his thigh was huge and blue he was taken right to the OR ...sadly he bled out on the OR table.
  11. by   noc_owl
    Had a patient that tried to kill himself by putting a gun either in his mouth or under his chin and shooting, can't remember now where they thought he had placed it. Poor guy ended up blowing the bottom half of his face off, just his eyes and forehead were left intact. He was still conscious when he got to the ED, and I'll never forget the way his eyes looked, wildly staring about the room, and nothing but pulp where his nose and mouth used to be. He eventually got his wish, he died in the OR, but I can't imagine how horrific his last moments were.

    Had another patient who was hit by a car at high speed who was just broken into pieces. Went to move a leg to apply a pressure dressing to a spurting bleed, and the foot didn't move with it, the whole leg where the tib and fib should have been sort of bent and dragged. It felt as if the bones were just pulverized, the lower legs were like mush. It's hard to describe, but I've never seen anything like it.
  12. by   PedsER-RN
    one of the best was a bilat leg amputation of a toddler-an older sibling had shot her with a shotgun. when we were moving her to the stretcher for or i had the job of holding the bandaged legs and it was the weirdest feeling to feel where the amputation was (the remaining part of the legs were still bandaged up with her legs). the most amazing part is a couple months later she walked out of the hospital on both of her own legs. this happened a couple years ago and just the other night at work we were talking about it. a tough little girl and an awesome surgeon. i'm still amazed.
  13. by   BsnRnShiftSuper
    i work night shift in an er; at the very beginning of my shift, i was informed by regional command that a man riding an atv was impaled on a fence post; my first thought was that, #1, they were wrong, or #2, the guy is probably going to be a doa; but when they got to the er with the pt, he was awake and alert, and was indeed impaled on the pipe that runs along the top of a chain link fence. it entered his rt upper anterior chest wall and exited the lt lateral chest, right below his rib cage. it was the most intense trauma i have ever seen. we had to pick the pt up (the pt, not the backboard) and rotate him to lay him on his back with the pole sticking out and off the side of the stretcher. i asked him if he could tell me his name and he did. then he said "mam, please knock me out." seconds later we intubated, put in 2 chest tubes, multiple peripheral lines and a central lines. you could see his heart beating through the anterior wound. he got to the ed at 1942 and left with healthnet to go to another facility at 2115. talk about wild! i was surprised the rapid infuser even worked after that kind of abuse! he did live after a very long and difficult recovery.
  14. by   Bikechicky
    I have many, but the best I think is this: a guy was driving his car with the drivers window down, and his arm resting on the car window sill. His car was sideswiped by another car. He came into the trauma room with a badly fractured arm, open fracture......... well the X-rays came back with a large portion of the humerus was missing, gone, not there! So sent EMS back to the scene to look for it. Found the missing bone under the hood of the other car. It was dieivered back into my hands, it was so cool, a perfect section of humerus, no blood and guts attached, just a 3 or 4" section of bone, I was impressed by how heavy it was. We sent it up to the OR, the plans were to sterilize it and re-implant it, I never heard how it turned out.

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