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Doctors Share Their Craziest 'How The F*** Did You Survive That' Experiences

Doctors Share Their Craziest 'How The F*** Did You Survive That' Experiences

"How did they survive that?" is a question doctors ask themselves more often than not.

It turns out the medical field is full of more than a few medical oddities, but are you really surprised?

After Redditor Raging_fox_01 asked medical professionals to sound off with, "Doctors of reddit. What was your "how the f*ck did you survive that" moment?" we can't help but cringe and yet be impressed all at once.

"It's about 11pm..."


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 sh!tting myself at this stage. Based on his vitals I'd estimated he'd lost almost 1.5 liters 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.


"I was a surgical resident..."

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 piss. Turns out the wood missed every single one of the vital vessels and no fracture - just muscular damage.


"The child was admitted overnight..."


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 pot smokers 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.


"One guy got hit in the face..."

Every time I think this question, the answer is usually "meth."

One guy got hit in the face hard enough to let air into his brain cavity and was being an absolute arsehole (which seemed to be normal for him) and literally asked "got any meth?" when I offered some pain relief. To my understanding, he recovered without any need for surgery.


"Once had a guy..."

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."


"He gets brought into the trauma bay..."


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 wouldwound 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.


"A week passed..."

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, came 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-moisturizing device in the room (because of the tracheotomy) kept her hydrated, because a healthy person would generally not survive a week without fluids.


"Farmer was driving..."

Farmer was driving a tractor with one of those huge rolls of hay on the back. The hay was not secured correctly so when he stopped it rolled forward over him and bent him in half. All he had was 2 compression fractures in his lumbar region.


"I am not a doctor..."


I am not a doctor but when I around 23 I was stubborn and didn't go to the doctors for feeling weak and numb all the time with some blackouts. I brushed it off until I literally couldn't get up to walk to the bathroom. Thinking it was just a cold or flu, when I finally made it to the ER my blood count was at 3, regular is around 14. Doctor said he didn't know how I was alive still.