Doctors From Around The World Share 'How Did You Survive That?' Stories

Doctors From Around The World Share 'How Did You Survive That?' Stories

The human body can withstand some serious trauma. To put it cheekily, dying is the last thing it wants to do. Doctors and nurses field emergencies everyday - it's part of their job. So it takes a really exceptional case to stand out in memory, like a patient who survives a bullet wound to the head or a 40-foot fall out of the sky. We asked medical professionals to tell about those patients that they still can't believe survived.


33. Like rubber.

I was working in the emergency department when a toddler came in after falling out of a 3 story window completely unharmed. The sad thing was they were from a rough neighbourhood and the Mum hadn’t noticed for about half an hour. Apparently the friendly apartment smokers found found him, checked him over and sat with him for half an hour and when Mum didn’t show up went to find her. The child was admitted overnight mostly for social reasons but it’s just amazing how well kids bounce.

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32. That's quite a splinter.

I was a surgical resident in a small town hospital. We got paged to see a patient for a speared piece of driftwood through the leg. We were thinking it was a nicked femoral artery and discussing if this poor kid needed amputation when we saw him he was standing on the skewered leg taking a pee. Turns out the wood missed every single one of the vital vessels and no fracture - just muscular damage.

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31. The human tree.

Not a doctor (yet), but I worked in a trauma center as a scribe before starting med school. Basically, I was attached at the hip with a doctor to do their documentation.

One guy wrecked his car into a wooden fence, and a wooden fence post went in his mouth and came out the back of his neck. It was the kind of fence post that was double the size of his mouth. It had basically pushed all of the important anatomy to the side as it impaled him. There were consulting doctors for like 10 different specialties working on this guy in the hospital. Several weeks later, after he fully recovered, he walked back in the emergency department to thank everyone.


30. Maybe get rid of the chainsaw.

I'm an Emergency Nurse. Once had a guy come in who had been cutting a tree with a chainsaw when it hit a knot in the wood and kicked up into his neck. Finished cutting the tree because he knew his wife would make him get rid of the chainsaw. Put a towel on it and drove himself to the hospital. CT showed no vascular damage, simple wash out and home the next day. One of the paramedics who saw him said to his patient "that's a real emergency, why don't we ever get those?"

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29. Little Lazarus.

My dad who was a doctor told me this story once. He has this 12 year old patient (let's call him Tim) and everyone in the hospital firmly believes he's immortal.

Tim was born with a bad heart and is constantly in an out of the ICU. By in and out of the ICU, he goes in almost once or twice a month. 9 out of 10 admissions, Tim flatlines. Strangely, Tim always comes back, even if you don't resuscitate him. I'd say Tim flatlined about 15-ish times in total.

It's at the point that whenever Tim flatlines, nobody panicks. Not even his mom and the first three times she fell on the floor crying. "Hey guys, Tim's vitals are dropping." "Again? Whew, that kid's definitely going for a record." Tim's pretty chill about it too. He talks about his ICU trips like how a normal kid talks about a mildly eventful day at school. Nobody knows how does Tim always come back. He just does. Frankly, I'm surprised the media hasn't done a story about it because it's totally metal.

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28. The incredible shrinking man.

I'm a paramedic. Once went to a car wreck were a guy drove head first into the corner of a brick bridge at 100mph. Took a huge wedge out of the bottom of the bridge and left the car about 1/4 of its normal length. All the impact was on the drivers side. Turned up only 2 mins after the crash and fully expected it to be a fatality. Walked round to the drivers side and somehow he was fully conscious but squeezed into the only space left in the car. Took almost 3hrs to get him out and on extracting him out he had absolutely nothing wrong with him other than being a little cramped up. Still wonder how the heck did he survive that.

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26. Feeling fine.

Not a doctor, yet, but during one of my night shift as a medical student, I had to take in charge a patient who came to the ER for a car accident. Well, that’s quite common... What is not is that he came by himself, from 40kms, by calling a taxi because his car was absolutely wrecked in the accident. Normally, when your car ends up upside down, after 2 or 3 roll overs at 60km/h (which the patient did), you are not really fine... However, he was totally OK! No broken bones, no head trauma, no abdominal pain, nothing! He just came to the ER because he had little dermabrasions over his knees and one elbow. Three band-aids later, and he was good to go!

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26. Tried, tested, and true.

Not a doctor, but a friend's story:

He'd been feeling like crap for a long time, went to the doctor. Doctor ordered a bunch of blood tests, and ordered them on a 'rush' basis. The lab calls the doctor to ask, "Why the did you make us rush these tests?" Doctor is confused. Lab is like, "The guy is clearly dead, so what's the rush?"

Doctor calls him, tells him to NOT DRIVE but to get himself to emergency ASAP. Guy was a type 1 diabetic, hadn't realized it until way later in life, and apparently his bloodwork suggested he was a corpse rather than a living person. He's still doing fine.


25. Could have been worse.

Patient: Not as cool as most of these, but I was puking for 3 days straight before going into urgent care. I wasn't even going to to go in, but my family said I looked awful and I eventually relented. They said I had appendicitis. Due to a mix up I didn't get operated on for over a day later. When they went in, my appendix was gangrenous and had basically disintegrated. Turns out it had burst/ruptured days ago. Normally, this floods your body with toxins and you die, but apparently my colon was positioned in such a way that it blocked that from happening. I was in the hospital for another week before my digestive system restarted and had to have bile pumped out of my stomach. All in all though, not a terrible experience.

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24. Just a tap on the head.

Not a doctor, but I'm a firefighter so I see my fair share of trauma. About a year ago, we responded to a call that went out as an "individual who had a car fall on his face." He was hotboxing in his garage while working underneath his car that was supported by scissor jacks. Something to note, the car didn't have any tires on the front end where he was working. One of the scissor jacks had slipped out from underneath the car, and the whole weight of the car landed directly onto the side of his head with no tires to stop the fall. We got our rubber airbags out, lifted the car, pulled him out, and got him onto a stretcher. After taking 2,500 lbs of weight to the head, he somehow got out of it with a fractured orbital and a laceration on his cheek.

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23. What a nickname.

Not a doctor, this is a story about my dad's best friend, or as he's more commonly known, the human kebab.

So this guy decides to take his dogs out on a walk on a particularly cold Scotland morning and on his way out slips on some ice. Unfortunately he landed on a metal pole that was being used to hold up flowers or something, anyway this pole goes in through his side just under the ribcage I believe and exits through his neck.

After being rushed to the hospital and had x-rays and whatever done the doctors concluded that the pole had missed all vital organs veins and arteries and they basically just had to pull it out.

This all happened many years before I was born but it still absolutely blows my mind.

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22. Gotta stay hydrated.

An elderly lady had a massive brain hemorrhage, was transferred to terminal care to the health center in-patient ward I was working at as the doctor. Her prognosis was that she would die at any moment. There was no treatment, she was comatose, but breathing spontaneously through a tracheotomy tube.

A week passed, with no medications, no food, no fluids, still alive. Then she began to stir, became conscious. Delirious, but conscious. So we started i.v. fluids, appropriate medications, and eventually physiotherapy. After a few months she moved into the local nursing home, lived for a few years. She had profound dementia, but was able to move.

I wonder if the air-moisturising device in the room (because of the tracheotomy) kept her hydrated, because a healthy person would generally not survive a week without fluids.

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21. Wonder woman is real.

I used to be a nurse and this happened to my grandmother. She was in her early 80s, on blood thinners and took a nasty fall and hit her head. Quite a common injury unfortunately and she was admitted to hospital.

The amazing part is that for 3 days her condition worsened and the signs that she had a brain haemorrhage went unnoticed. That is until she became unresponsive. Then we had all the bells and whistles, she was airlifted to a larger hospital and I spent the day preparing my family for the worst. The bleeding had gone unchecked for a long time and if she did survive prepare for her to be different.

That wonder woman woke up a few hours after surgery with zero impairment, memory intact right up to hospital admission. It was an amazing recovery that we're all very grateful for.

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20. The crumple zone.

I'm a researcher rather than a doctor, but during my undergrad my anatomy tutor told us of an interesting case study. A woman in the same department had been in a car accident going a considerable speed. The seat belt failed to lock and her face flew into the steering wheel. Her mouth, nose, cheekbones and forehead were shattered, yet she suffered no brain damage. Apparently, the front of her face acted as a crumple zone and the fact her skull shattered meant the cranial swelling didn't cause any damage because the brain had more space to swell in to. She needed significant reconstructive surgery, but a year later she and my tutor teamed up in a research project. They used her case as the basis for looking into new ways to treat severe head injuries and developed new treatment protocols depending on where the skull had taken damage. They basically found out that, if you're going to have a head injury, try and get hit in the face and not the temples because you're much more likely to survive.


19. Nine lives.

I'm an emergency physician. I had a patient that was shot nine times, three bullets to the head. He didn't call an ambulance, he brought himself to the emergency department. And by that I mean he DROVE himself to the emergency department. The three bullets in his head somehow didn't enter the cranium so his brain was just fine. One of them entered his cheek and went underneath the skin to swing all the way around to the back of his head. He was discharged the same day.


18. Layers upon layers.

I had a practical exam yesterday for my surgery rotation in college. I was given 2 patients for history, examination and follow up. Both were from the trauma unit. 1st guy. Road accident. His left foot was lying open. Like literally, I could see his bones and muscles. His left ear was gone, jaw fractured, 5 teeth missing, right arm fractured. I was amazed how this guy was alive. Then comes guy no. 2. He was about 50. Basically he was riding on a bike and a high voltage line fell on him. His right hand had only 2 fingers left. Others were burned beyond saving, so they were amputated. Right hand had a hole in it, with the bone burned off. And both his legs had severe 3rd degree burns. To the point where you can see all the muscles in the leg. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I would said that neither of them should be alive.

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17. They had to put it on TV.

I work in the quality department for a large hospital system. I work a lot with the Trauma docs and this one takes the cake for me. We had a guy brought in who crashed his four wheeler into a fence. One of the posts impaled him under the rib cage went up to his jaw and literally took off his rib cage. You could see his lungs and heart exposed and working when he came into the trauma bay. Everyone kept wondering how he was alive. They were able to rebuild him a new rib cage and he walked out a few months later. There was actually a TV crew from the show ‘Trauma Life in the ER’ so the tape of it exists online somewhere.

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16. Cold to the touch.

Not my patient, but we had a two year old fall in a creek in January. Came in as a hypothermic code by drowning. Our little rural hospital worked him and got him back, transferred him to the tertiary center the next county over. Kid had a full recovery, came back in with his whole family a few weeks later. His case was featured in National Geographic, but the big hospital got all the credit. They deserve their share of it, but to the team that was on in our ED that day, they were straight ballers.

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15. Almost made it.

During my internship, I was working the free clinic and a man came in (I’ll call him D) holding his own small intestine like a baby. As I was the only doc in the clinic, I was pretty freaked out. Anyway, I paged trauma right away, but his organs were outside his body for too long and he became septic and sadly did not make it. I still find it amazing the D was able to walk nearly six miles holding his intestine. That’s incredible.

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14. Fell from the sky.

Surgical intern year. Guy came in from a hang gliding accident where he fell when a strong gust of wind blew him out of the sky. Luckily (maybe unluckily?) he fell into a grove of trees. He presented to the trauma bay with a stick coming out of his eye, saying he couldn’t see out of that eye but had vision in the other. Initially we were impressed that he survived a 100 foot fall from the sky, but then we got the CT scan. Turned out the stick actually went through his eye, across his skull, and almost to the other side (about 7.5 inches inside his head). He amazingly was still conscious and talking before he underwent a 15 hour long surgery involving ENT, neurosurgery, and ophthalmology. Aside from losing the one eye, he made a full recovery.


13. Bounced like a ball.

Back in medical school, I was called to the trauma bay for an incoming 40-year-old man who was rock climbing and fell 30 feet on to his head. I got prepped for a bloodbath and we discussed how we were going to manage a shattered skull. However, when the guy comes in he is talking and just complaining of a headache. His head hit the rocks tangentially and it just bounced off, taking the skin with it. His scalp was peeled off his skull (so we just stapled it back in to place) but he was otherwise fine. 30 foot fall on to his head and not even a bone broken.

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12. Don't eat that.

CT/x-ray Tech here. We got a double trauma alert at our hospital for a drive by shooting at a wedding (yeah we are not in a great city). One teen was shot in the shoulder and the other guy was grazed in the neck.

The teen was fine, nothing major was hit. I do my normal trauma protocol of taking xrays of the chest and pelvis. I get to the man and see his neck with what looks like a minor abrasion or burn on it. I take my chest x-ray and see a bullet in his abdomen. Call over the trauma doc to look at the picture and they start scouring him. No wounds on his abdomen, no bleeding, he has no pain. They check under the stretcher and I tell them "it doesn't work like that, I can't x-ray the floor."

I tell them, "Guys it has to be in his stomach." After confirmation from the CT scan, the bullet indeed is in his stomach! Turns out he actually did get shot in the neck and swallowed the bullet. I had to take follow up pictures to follow the bullet through the intestines and make sure he...eliminated it. When I asked him about why he didn't realize he had been shot he replied with "I didn't feel pain but I felt burning hot on my neck and in my throat so I just kept swallowing and it stopped."

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11. We think this has a happy ending.

Junior doc on the Trauma team. Doors to Resus fly open to reveal a man carrying a second blood soaked man in his arms. Get him onto a stretcher and it is clear he has gunshot wound to his chest and has gone into cardiac arrest (asystole). Chest compressions start and within minutes the A&E consultant is performing an open thoracotomy in order to start cardiac massage.

Cardiothoracics join us quickly and get to work on the heart - a hole in the right ventricle is identified and plugged with a Foley catheter. All the while bag after bag of o neg is being pushed into the patient in an attempt to replace everything that had pumped out of his heart and into his thoracic cavity. 15-20 mins into this the impossible happens - we get ROSC (the heart starts beating in its own). Patient is taken directly to theatre where the hole is definitively repaired and bilateral chest drains are inserted to drain the blood filling his lungs (technically the pleural space). Somehow his heart continued beating and after a couple weeks on ITU, the patient is returned to the trauma ward awake and alert. Several weeks, some mild hypoxic brain injury, and a gnarly chest scar later and he walks off the ward with his dad, the man who carried him in.

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10. Sometimes it's good to have a thick skull.

This was the 2nd year during my neurosurgery residency. Woman got shot execution style (kneeled down on both knees; shot in the back of the head) by her husband (who then shot himself).

In the ER the patient was barely breathing and had a hemoglobin of 5.0. There was so much scatter from the metal artifact on the CT of her head that we didn’t know what we were getting into, but we brought her emergently to the OR to do an exploratory craniectomy.

We made incision and took off a flap of this thick, mangled skull where she was shot in the back of her head. Her shards of skull tore a massive hole in her superior sagittal sinus (big brain vein) that we had to repair. We found some small fragments of bullet but no big slug.

When I went back to repair the portion of skull we cut out to access her brain, I found the bullet embedded in her skull. As we get older, our skull thickens but this girl was young. She had an abnormally thick portion of her skull in the area where she was shot. After the case was over I looked back at her CT and it was a miraculous abnormality.

The patient ended up surviving with no neurological deficits. She is a completely normal and high functioning individual in society at this time. This strange thickened portion of her skull saved her life. If she would have been shot anywhere else in her head at point blank, she would have undoubtedly lost her life.

I’m not one for fate or higher power but this story always gives me goose bumps.

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9. Bulletproof in the head.

Intern year doing surgery, guy gets brought in for a gunshot wound to the head. He was working at a jeweler that got robbed, his coworker was black bagged at the scene.

He gets brought into the trauma bay and it’s pretty hectic because GSW to the head and well he’s alive. Not only is he alive he’s following commands but not speaking, probably from the shock.

Cops are giving us report saying he was likely shot with a .357 snub nose they recovered at the scene. So we do our primary and secondary survey and all this guy has is a single wound to his left frontal scalp where the bullet went in.

So the team hasn’t really seen something like this before. Sure a GSW to the head wasn’t new but this guy was otherwise completely fine. The decision was made to get a quick frontal and late head X-ray to verify where the bullet was before proceeding to CT. Well we don’t see any bullet on the films. There’s no bullet on the board or bed or within the patients clothes.

The man was shot in the head and the bullet bounced off his skull. CT showed no fracture even. It was wild, never seen anything like that since.

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8. Miraculous recovery.

Paramedic here. Dispatched to a “person who fell.” Another update said “unconscious.” Last update about a minute or two before we got there was “unconscious, not breathing, CPR in progress.”

Lady in her forties is dead. Like for real. She’s cold, has rigor mortis, pupils are fixed and dilated, monitor shows asystole. Not only is she dead, she’s been dead for a while. Fire department is doing CPR, but it seems futile at this point. I call the hospital to talk to a doctor.

“Hey, can we get orders to terminate resuscitation efforts on this patient?” I ask the physician on the other end.

“Nah, she seems kind of young, and I know it’s probably futile, but go ahead and keep working and bring her on in” was his reply.

That’s cool, no problem, we will keep going. We get the IV, I intubate her, give her some epinephrine, put the thumper on her, give some more epi, some bicarb, and wow she has a pulse now. A week later she gets discharged from the hospital to rehab with “only mild cognitive impairment.” Basically, she had to learn to use a spoon and fork again and she lost a week or two of her memory.

And that’s the short story of how I tried to kill a lady but wound up getting an award for it.

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7. What's red all over?

First year of my core surgical training I was on call in a very small rural hospital. This hospital only had 2 doctors on at night, me and a medical trainee, and no emergency doctors.

It's about 11pm and this guy, 26 comes in after being in a fight. Blood pumping from his nose which was clearly fractured. I suspected he probably had other facial fractures underneath but he was awake and talking to me, otherwise seemed fine. I spent about 45 minutes trying to stop the blood, using all sorts of nose packs, pressure, even tried a catheter balloon to try and tamponade it. Nothing was working, and he was starting to go into shock, and I was basically terrified at this stage. Based on his vitals I'd estimated he'd lost almost 1.5 litres of blood so far. Nearest proper surgical hospital was 45 minutes away, and my consultant was at home, 25 minutes from the hospital.

Eventually I got four bags of o neg from the lab (the lab tech happened to be in, which was very lucky), put this guy in the back of an ambulance, still bleeding, and sent him blue light to the surgical centre in the city. Got a phone call about 3 hours later from a surgeon at the other hospital, saying he had brought the patient to theatre and been able to control the situation. He was probably 15 minutes from dead.

If you come into that kind of small hospital with that much bleeding, all stats say you're in trouble. The guy was very lucky his friends got him in so quickly.


6. Life and death.

A patient in his late 90s was admitted to our hospice for terminal care (ie to die) because of untreatable multilevel bowel obstruction. Confirmed on CT scan, and clinically obvious from his swollen abdomen and profuse vomitting.

The guy was, however, absolutely charming and completely at peace with this. He did want discomfort, and felt he had had a good life.

He was scared to eat because of the vomitting it caused - if your bowel is blocked then any eating has to go back out the way it came in. Otherwise he was comfy enough with just a little pain relief. He was also lovely to chat to, very reflective and articulate in his speech and mannerisms.

He had been told he had days, possibly hours, to live by the surgeons at the local hospital. And he barely drank anything, and ate literally nothing.

This continued for 2 months(!!), and though he lost a tremendous amount of weight, and physical capability it seemed that during this time his bowel obstruction had spontaneously unobstructed ...

We ended up getting him home.

The sad thing is, however, he had completely come to terms with his death. He is now still petrified of eating, and believes super strongly that his bowel is going to obstruct again (which it may). He just doesn't ever want to go through that experience again and I do sometimes wander if he would have been better off dying peacefully with us.

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5. Stuck on you.


Dispatched to shortness of breath and considering that a SOB dispatch is typically BS, I wasn't all that ramped up when we came on-scene. The FD beat us there and when we pull into the parking lot, the junior FF is running out to the ambulance to get us and says, "We gotta get him outta here." No biggie. Let's see how the other FFs are acting. At the door, the Engine Captain is looking stressed and says, fittingly, "We gotta get him outta here." Not good, but he's not a medic. What does the medic think? Brian, the medic, is an absolute rockstar whose judgement I'd trust under any circumstance. Brain says, no kidding, "We gotta get him outta here."

The patient is a 19 y.o. male. Pale, cool, and sweaty skin, massive air hunger, and confused. Oxygen saturation is less than 70%. We are 8 minutes from the hospital.

If I have learned one thing in the last 12 years, it's this: If your patient tells you they're going to die, believe them. En route, his HR tanked, his pulses faded, and his breathing slowed dramatically, which as I am sure you know, is bad.

Start CPR? Yes, but, when we compress, this kid opens his eyes and pushes us away. Doing CPR on a patient who's watching you do CPR on them is an interesting experience.

Eventually, he quit pushing us away, so our job got easier. We worked him all the way to the hospital. The ED worked him for an hour and a half -- the epinephrine, fluid, nor-epi, etc. briefly producing pulses before they'd again fade away. There was a period of v-fib in there too. Ugh. Eventually, they managed to stabilize him but it didn't look good for our friend. He began to seize, and it looked like he was going to come out with considerable neurological deficit.

As you can probably guess, he lived. It was a big ol' saddle embolus... or, in layman's terms, a huge clot blocking blood flow between between his heart and his lungs. Kid had a known coagulopathy that he didn't manage. They told us on scene that he would joke that someday, he'd just drop dead. Well, not this time.

Walked out of the hospital a week or so later without any deficit. How, I have no idea.

Sidenote: that was the last call of an 11 year run at that job. Couldn't imagine a better way to leave.

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4. A bit of a headache.

My aunt was an emergency room nurse a while back and she tells this story about a construction worker that came in one day.

The patient was all but being dragged in by his coworkers to get looked at. He was reporting a little headache, but nothing else. His friends took over and said, no, he had been hit on the head by something, while they were walking through the site, that had broken his helmet in half and they needed to make sure he didn't have a concussion. After looking the man over, my aunt concluded that he didn't have a concussion, but wasn't convinced that he was completely fine because he was reacting to the test as if he had more pain than he was letting on. So my aunt ordered that they get a scan of his brain to see if there was something going on. After the scans were taken and the images reviewed, the nurse that was looking at them delivered them with a look of horror on her face. When my aunt looked at the scan she saw that there was a 6'' nail sitting in this man's brain. After that they had him sent to a hospital better equipt to handle something this sever. My aunt remarks that there was absolutely no blood or any visable sign of it when they came in.

A couple months later the man went back to thank my aunt and the other nurses for having the scans taken and he explained that someone had dropped the nail from the top on the building they were working on and it fell on him.

As far as I know he was doing well after that and my aunt didn't see him turn up to that hospital again.

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3. TL/DR: Yikes.

Just finished a 24hr call so I’ll paraphrase, I’m an obgyn resident.

300lb African American female with IVF twins around 32 weeks gestation, multiple medical problems.

Chronic hypertension, being monitored inpatient. AMm rounds she looks uncomfortable, said she slept in a chair, just looked very anxious for no reason, breathing heavy. Blood pressure is very very high, we give meds.

We can only get one twins heart, probably because she’s so big. We move her to L&D for closer monitoring, plus ready access to ultrasound.

Now she has a lot of abdominal pain, blood pressure still very high, her breathing is getting heavier.

Stat chest x ray shows her lungs are like, completely whited out, filling with fluid from flash pulmonary edema. At the same time her abdominal pain is worse and worse, big bright red clot falls out of her vagina. Same time, we get a ultrasound view of both fetuses, twin 2’s heart is super slow. Patient is now having a panic attack and screaming while also having v trouble breathing.

This is all within like, 10 minutes.

Stat/emergency/crash C section. Get her on the table, she starts having an eclamptic seizure. Anesthesia does rapid sequence intubation. Loud. Long. Steady. Beep.

Patient goes into cardiac arrest on the table. “Code blue, labor and delivery” goes out overhead throughout the hospital. Phones all over the floor start blowing up, white coats and scrubs sprinting onto the floor.

ICU comes running. Rapid response team comes running. General surgery comes running. A double NICU team comes running. There’s like 30 people in the OR.

ICU Is giving chest compressions and running the code. Surgery is putting in a central line. Rapid response is setting up to shock. Ob/Gyn is doing the c-section. I remember the attending yell: “cut! Cut! Cut!”

Obgyn goes skin to baby #1 in about 54 seconds. There’s blood everywhere, compressions still going while operating. Second baby comes out very still looking, placental abruption: the high blood pressure flooded her lungs and tore the placenta off the uterus.

NICU takes both babies, they eventually do just fine as far as hospital course goes. Mom achieves ROSC (return of spontaneous compressions, her heart is beating on its own now). Still bleeding.

Massive transfusion protocol initiated, she eventually gets somewhere between 14-20 units of packed red blood cells plus plasma, platelets, other stuff (THANK YOU FOR GIVING BLOOD, it actually, actively saves the lives of people who wish they could know who to thank).

Conservative surgical measures don’t stop the bleeding. Couvelaire uterus is diagnosed secondary to placental abruption In the setting of eclamptic seizure. Cesarean-hysterectomy is performed. Uterus comes out.

Patient remains intubated for about 2 days. Downgraded from SICU. Walks out of the hospital after 1 week because that’s how a solid medical team handles a crisis.

Now, there were a lot of red flags to indicate delivery at the beginning of this story, but she spiraled so fast, there really wasn’t any significant wasted time.

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2. Truly inspirational.

I had a rare type of ovarian cancer called terratoma. They were bilateral and massive which is even more rare. When I was diagnosed all they could see on the imaging was masses with various densities, lots of inflammation and adhesions everywhere. Everyone was trying to be optimistic to my face but I could tell it was really bad. They told me they couldn't give me a realistic scenario until after the surgery. They said they needed to go in and take out anything and everything the tumors were involved in. I was 35 at the time and said if it's that bad just sew me up and that's it. I didn't want chemo and radiation and no kidneys, bladder or intestines. When I was put under there was a team of about 20 people there. Every type of specialist oncologist surgeons you could imagine. Pathologists to do all the slides in the OR even. Everyone looked at me like I was already dead. I asked for a valium and went under.

When I woke up I hurt really bad but felt better. It was so odd. Like I had the flu and it was just gone all of a sudden. I looked around and all the nurses and doctors were there. Some of them had obviously been crying but they looked happy. I was doped obviously and was struggling to put 2 and 2 together. Then I really opened my eyes and someone started clapping and they all wanted to hold my hand. I was like, "ok. I'm actually dead?" The main surgeon was choking tears back and said to me that it was all going to be okay. She explained to me I had massive terratomas and we had caught them still in the benign stage, but they had been adhered to stuff which is why the scans looked like my abdomen was riddled with cancer. She started crying really hard and laughing at the same time and said you're going to be totally okay pending the final pathology on all the lymphnodes. The nurse told me later when they opened me up and figured out what it was a cheer went up in the OR. I had a radical hysterectomy and was supposed to be in the hospital for 4 days. Five hours after surgery I told them to pull the urinary catheter and had them help me up. I refused to use the bathroom in my room and insisted I walk myself to the toilet at the end of the hall every time I had to go. I was discharged the very next afternoon and never looked back. That is about as close as I ever want to come to dying until I actually die.

I'm living the very best life I can now. Sold everything I owned and moved the horses and my truck to Scotland. I'm getting my doctorate and dealing with all the demons in my life. The amount of power I have now is incredible and the world seems more vibrant. Hard to explain, but a lot of the fears I had are gone now. It seems a lot like what the astronauts get, when your perspective becomes vast and you realize the world is a small speck in the universe and you get a profound sense of the world's humanity. The only down side is that sometimes it makes normal stuff seem totally trivial. Lol. A price I will gladly pay to see the forest instead of just the trees.

I was very vocal about what happened to me after and encouraged people to go get their yearly exams. As a result 2 people I know went to their exams and the docs caught cervical cancer early. They are both doing great now.

*Men and women...please learn from me. Go to the doctor for your yearly exams. Don't wait. Don't be shy. If you think something is up then just go. Your pride isn't worth your life. 1 in 10 women you know will have ovarian cancer. Don't wait. Go get your exams. *


1. Don't read this if you have a weak stomach.

I'm an emergency dept nurse at a fairly large hospital in our states capital city. We're not the state trauma centre, but it's a rough area and we get some pretty beaten up walk ins. Night shift one night, a car drives up to the ambo bay, and just leans on the horn... which always means bad news.

Last time this happened was a heart attack with someone doing cpr in the back seat... but also, as I said, rough neighbourhood. Could have been someone luring staff outside to assault them (that's happened too).

Triage nurse, and another nurse look out through the glass at the bay... no ambos around. Sedan, still running, one visible occupant, slumped over the steering wheel... horn going. Decision made. Doctor called overhead. Male nurses come too. Door opened. Out we go.

First thing noticed... driver is pretty grey looking. Get the door opened, it's pretty dark, but his shirt is obviously soaking wet. His arm is across his chest. Could be a heart attack... maybe sweat. But it stinks, and I mean stinks, like blood.

It's Australia, it's summer, it's hot... we're sweating. Doc mentions "I just stepped in blood."... uh oh.

Gloves are already on (standard precaution), but no-one is running for gowns. Haul this dude out of the car (no seatbelt) onto a barouche and inside. Under the light you can see that his shirt is pre-shredded (helpful for us, probably a stabbing)... we aren't stopping... motoring to resus.

Triage nurse runs to the overhead and bellows... "level one in resus. Resus teams 1 & 2". you can hear the panic in her voice... she's been doing this job for years... she's seen some things in her time.

We don't really have a second resus team... junior staff look up and comment things like "we don't have a resus team 2", or "who's on resus team 2?" Every nurse and doctor who's got some experience gets free and migrates to resus. Probably leaves about 2 doctors (both probably interns) and maybe 10 nurses for the rest of our large department.

We're in resus. We've got lights. We've got the senior doc on shift. We've got some veteran nurses. And we've got a very pale looking dude lying on the bed. It's the first time we've really gotten a decent look at him. His arm is still clutched across his torso, and he is holding on for dear life... but he looks doomed.

Junior resus doc starts moving to insert an access in the fellas arm, senior stops him, says "go sort transfusion"... we can't even get a radial on the dude. Blood is hitting the floor... there's a trail leading back to the ambo bay.

Senior doc peels back the guys arm... his shirt is stuck to it. I was not looking, but I turned when everyone stopped talking. Doc's been around... he's seen some stabbings. This dude had not been stabbed. He had been filleted.

His arm was the only thing holding his chest closed.

He didn't make it.

We found out from the police that the guy had been attacked at a traffic light, 2 streets from the hospital... car door opened, and not literally, not figuratively, actually... been butterflied. 3 cuts... pre thoracotomied. Still somehow drove himself to the hospital. He was alive when he got to us... because he pulled the handbrake, but that was probably the last conscious thought he had.

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