What Is Your Most Gross, Yucky, Disgusting Nursing Horror Story? - page 107

:D Here is my most gross, yucky, disgusting nursing story! I was working a night shift on a tele floor as a new Nurse. We had this one poor old lady who was confused and was restrained as... Read More

  1. by   Purple_Scrubs
    To any pre-nursing students or those contemplating nursing reading this: if you can read this entire thread and still want to go to nursing school, do it!
  2. by   Jessiedog
    Quote from fuzzywuzzy
    We used to have a resident with rotting black feet. Every now and then a toe would fall off. I felt bad for his roommate for having to endure the smell for such a long time.
    Working several years ago in a rehab ward, we had one guy with a BKA due to poor circulation. The other foot wasn't faring so well, either. He'd ignored the warning signs of cool & dusky toes, and even the loss of sensation and then loss of movement. By the time he got to us, his entire foot was necrotic. But not moist necrotic; it was dry, solid necrotic.

    I swear you could tap on his foot, and get a hollow sound back! The foot halfway up the calf was solid, black, dead flesh!! I have never seen anything like it before or since. (and this was only my second year of nursing) The whole foot felt and sounded like a piece of black wood. If I'd grabbed a toe & tried to bend it, I KNOW it would have snapped off in my hand! Eeewwwww!!!

    The smell was interesting, too. This was when we only had four-bed rooms, so the old fella always had room-mates, although we did the best we could. The smell was a very sweet, all-pervading odour, kind of maple-syrupy, and not at all nasty or offensive unless you knew what the cause was. This, somehow, made it worse! That something that looked so horrible could almost smell nice!

    Anyway, the surgeon managing him wasn't quite sure that an amputation was warranted (duhhh ) so we were doing daily dressings. The entire foot and leg had to be dressed with parraffin-impregnated gauze, then non-stick dressings and bandages. This was the current treatment for necrosis, and worked well with a moist necrotic area. Trying to wrap parraffin gauze around this thing and:deadhorse hold it while bandaging was a complete waste of nursing effort, but we dutifully did it.

    After a couple of weeks, the amputation was performed, and the fella eventually went home with two prosthetic legs. The amazing thing was that with this dead limb attached for so long, he never developed any systemic problems, or even needed IV antibiotics! One of the 'wonders of modern medicine' ?
  3. by   sunkissed75
    This thread is very informative...gross, but informative!!! I guess the moral behind all these stories is "bring an extra uniform to work"!!! I can hardly wait to have my own gross story to tell. Wait...Is that gross....??!!??
  4. by   nightshiftnut
    Imagine a 48 year old woman with untreated breast cancer...mets to the bones. DNR status. Her right breast was partially necrotic...The skin on her chest had formed blister like clusters with the smell of rotting flesh...Charcoal dressing did not help. Patient coughs and her chest wall cracks....and her skin splits wide open...blood pumping everywhere..and you can see the outline of her beating heart under the sparce tissue covering it. We had to cover her open chest with sterile dressings and sandbags. It was terrible....Fortunately, she passed away comfortably with a morphine drip...husband and two young children at her bedside.....sad.
  5. by   rph3664
    Quote from oncnursemsn
    ((Diahni))) This is a bit off topic, but just attended a lovely dinner paid for by Merck drug company complete with salmon for entree. The topic? CINV- better known as Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, complete with 1 hour lecture on the mechanics of how someone gets nauseated and what triggers vomiting. In depth conversation including salivating, wretching, etc. All while the servers are filling our wine glasses and putting steaming plates of food down. gag.
    BTW, how's the wine?
    When I was in pharmacy school, I was a hotel banquet server and occasionally had to serve at dinners like this, and one time, it was a physician's CE dinner where the topic was birth defects incompatible with life.

    The bartender was in the room during the presentation, and told us about a picture of a dicephalus (she described it as "a two-headed baby") and something that was either gastroschisis or body stalk anomaly.



    Edit: What really freaked out the bartender was that the doctors kept eating and didn't flinch throughout the presentation - probably because many, if not all, of them had actually seen things like this.
    Last edit by rph3664 on Apr 4, '09
  6. by   sparketteinok
    Just tonight, I had a large obese woman who had a suprapubic foley. We were turning her and foley got stuck under her. I was gently easing it out (so I thought), and the cap to the lumen for irrigation popped off, promptly squirting my face and scrub top with stale urine. I don't think the smell will ever wash off.
    *Note to self* Do not EVER do that again!!
  7. by   rph3664
    Quote from nightshiftnut
    Imagine a 48 year old woman with untreated breast cancer...mets to the bones. DNR status. Her right breast was partially necrotic...The skin on her chest had formed blister like clusters with the smell of rotting flesh...Charcoal dressing did not help. Patient coughs and her chest wall cracks....and her skin splits wide open...blood pumping everywhere..and you can see the outline of her beating heart under the sparce tissue covering it. We had to cover her open chest with sterile dressings and sandbags. It was terrible....Fortunately, she passed away comfortably with a morphine drip...husband and two young children at her bedside.....sad.
    Ever spoken to anyone who has lived in a third world country? Most cancer patients die long before they get to this point, but it's not infrequent at all.

    I once read about a missionary doctor who, in all his time in this area, saw ONE case of breast cancer that was treatable in any way other than comfort care, and it was in his wife. He did her mastectomy, and as of this book's writing 20 or 30 years later, she remained in excellent health.

    OTOH, it can happen here. One of documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee's movies features a photo of something like this - in South Carolina in the 1980s.
  8. by   WCMedlin
    I am taking a break to puke now
  9. by   WalkieTalkie
    I've seen a self-amputation of a necrotic/cancerous breast on a 70-something year old woman. Apparently the woman lived by herself and refused to allow her son to ever enter her house. The son would bring her groceries and leave them at her door and she never went to the doctor. She was finally found down at home one day and taken to the ER. The smell... I can't even describe it. The whole left side of her chest/breast was one big necrotic mess. They put her on comfort cares and she died that night.
  10. by   RyanBillington
    Well, this is NOT exactly MY story. But I have a habit of asking people in certain professions what their worst horror stories are. So here's one. Okay, this one fellow I asked that question to told me this story (Sorry to say!): One day, he was doing a maintenance job at the ER. I think he was painting or something like that. Anyway, a dreadful feeling came over him, followed my a horrendous smell. He described the smell as being mostly bloody and very metallic. He said the smell filled the entire ER. And later it could not be easily eradicated by sprays and cleansing agents.

    Several people walked into the ER carrying 5-gallon buckets with towels placed over them. Each had a very somber look on his face. Well, this maintenance man was curious. So, one of his buddies at the ER told him what the silent commotion was all about as he himself of course was not allowed admittance past a certain point. It turns out that the 5-gallon buckets were full of very bloody human body parts.

    A male technician responsible for repairing a machine at a steel plant died a horrible death when basic safety issues and common sense were blatantly ignored. This particular machine cuts steel bars in little pieces. And the technician was required to actually go inside of the machine to fix it. Not a problem.

    However, because signs and inside safety locks were not in order, the device was turned on while this gentleman was still inside doing repairs. Needless to say, this poor man was cut into many pieces. And his remains were scooped up in haste and placed into 5-gallon buckets and taken to the the ER and eventually the hospital morgue for counting.

    Can you imagine?!!! Somebody actually had to count all his parts to make sure they were all there!!! This was one of the worst stories I ever heard. But I have a few more....
  11. by   RyanBillington
    Okay, here goes another one!.... This is from a law enforcement agent. He tells me that one of his worst horror stories was a call he got several years ago when he was a rookie cop. A call came in about 2:00 a.m. on a Friday about a foul odor being reported by neighbors. Upon investigation they found a decomposing man laying face up on his bed with his apparently very scrawny and very hungry dog feasting on his corpse. Yuck!!!!!!!!!

    The officer said the house was in deplorable conditions. Smelly garbage, clothes, junk, feces, and cockroaches were everywhere! Also, little patches of dog's vomit were found throughout the house. They appeared to have little pieces of human tissue and skin in them. Police who searched the house believe the starving dog had been feasting on his owner's corpse for days. Gross!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. by   RyanBillington
    Here's another oldie but goodie.... This one comes from a security guard. Well, she told me that years ago, when she worked at a local senior high rise building, a foul odor was reported to her during her early morning shift. She goes to the apartment and opens the door with a key -- while management conveniently stands outside of the door >:-(

    Anyway, upon investigation surprisingly she finds that the A/C was NOT turned on (And it was a very hot July mind you!) and the aparment was in an advanced state of disarray. Oh, yeah, and a dresser and lots of junk and trash were stratigically placed against the door to keep outsiders out.

    This particular tenant was morbidly obese. And in addition to having nasty habits he also had a very nasty attitude. He would always lock himself into his apartment and he would never let anyone in. Even maitenance and managment had to struggle to get into his apartment in the same manner as this security guard.

    Anyhow, they found this extrememly obese tenant in a state of advanced decomposition. His body was very bloaded. His gut was broken open with maggots wriggling out of it. And body fluid was leaking out everywhere in the room where he died -- even on the ceiling -- I don't know why, though. But anyway, it was a big mess, needless to say. And it was very difficult removing him from the premises -- not to mention cleaning up afterwards.

    The securtiy gaurd said he basically stunk up most of the entire high rise. And everything in the apartement had to be disposed of. Renovation and relocation of some tenants was also necessary. Gross!!!!!


  13. by   RyanBillington
    By the way, does anybody have any idea how this man's body fluids got on to his ceiling?!!! I guess even thick body fluids can precipitate the way water does. Yikes!!!

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