Emergency Room Horror Stories That’ll Make You Cringe

Obviously, no one plans a trip to the hospital’s emergency room — but when we need them, we’re very glad they exist. But if you’ve ever been to the ER late at night or when the wait time is long, you know that sometimes people go for some pretty bizarre reasons … and sometimes those reasons are downright terrifying (or hilarious).

Warning: These emergency room horror stories might make your skin crawl. But you’ll certainly be glad they didn’t happen to you.

Please do not sit on the fish tanks

Fish tank

Who knew this could be so dangerous? | MandM_Photo/Getty Images

“I did surgery on a guy who, on his 21st birthday, got drunk and high and decided to sit on the edge of a large fish tank,” admitted Buzzfeed user ninenurse, who shared her story with the Buzzfeed Community. So why would a man need surgery for that?

“The glass broke and sliced off his entire butt cheek,” ninenurse admitted. “It was bad. There was literally a whole flap of butt meat hanging on by a little bit of skin.”

Next: This young woman didn’t pay much attention in health class.

The miscarriage mistake

Woman having stomach pain

This is a terrifying mistake. | iStock.com/Nikodash 

One ER nurse said she had a patient that came in claiming she was having a miscarriage. She also said she’d had a miscarriage every single month for over two years, since she’d started her birth control. The nurse had to explain to her that she was just experiencing regular periods.

Next: Two birds, one wallet

The misplaced wallet

wallet full of cards

A sign a weight problem has become much more. | iStock/Getty Images

One Reddit user had this to say: “Morbidly obese guy came in for right lower quadrant pain. I lifted up his gut and found his lost wallet. Solved two problems.”

Next: This is incredibly horrifying.

Watch your limbs

washer and dryer

Who knew this could ever happen? | Starush/iStock/Getty Images 

A nurse confessed this to the Buzzfeed Community:

“One night a family came in with an eight-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.”

Next: Worst Valentine’s Day ever.

Mirror, mirror …

nervous stressed young woman

Our worst nightmare. | iStock.com/SIphotography

According to the spouse of an ER nurse, Valentine’s Day is a busy time. Once a couple came in on his wife’s shift with cuts all over their bodies. The man had apparently duct taped a large mirror to the ceiling so they could watch themselves, and it fell and broke all over them.

Next: The explanation is the funniest part.

An apple a day?

Fresh organic farmers market fruit and vegetable

Ouch. | Elenathewise/iStock/Getty Images 

As one could imagine, ER doctors and nurses see a fair amount of patients with items stuck in their rectums. One man came in with an apple up his rear, claiming he’d fallen into a fruit basket while vacuuming … naked.

Next: This is one tough farmer.

‘I seem to have lopped me arm off’

doubt and worry concept

This one will make you think. | iStock.com/STUDIOGRANDOUEST 

An ER nurse told a harrowing tale to the medical industry publication EMS1:

“We were sitting around, chatting idly one day when a big, red-faced farming type hoved into view. We asked if he needed help as he appeared to be a little ‘lost’. He gestured to his left hand side, ‘I seem to have lopped me arm off,” he said … So we removed the grubby blanket he was clutching around his shoulder. As we pulled it away, his left arm came with it. He looked at each of us in turn, ‘Told you’ he said.

Next: This is the nightmare of every archer.

An arrow to the head

Young sad mad sitting by the window

This sounds horrifying. | Marjan_Apostolovic/iStock/Getty Images

Buzzfeed Community member markp24 shared:

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.”

Next: At least he was in good spirits.

He took the bet

Man with broken leg trying to get up using his crutches

One broken leg is bad enough. | Tom Merton/Getty Images

An ER doctor revealed that a 30-year old rancher came in after four wheeling with friends. He had two broken legs. Apparently his friends had bet him that he couldn’t climb or jump out of a tree. He did both, and both of his legs broke. Luckily, he was in good spirits and barely needed pain meds.

Next: A cup is an interesting storage device.

Can’t take my eyes off of you

Women Eyes

Popping an eye out doesn’t sound like a nice way to spend your day. | dimid_86/Getty Image 

Buzzfeed Community member alssac49 shared this horror story:

“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!”

Next: It’s a miracle this many survived.

That’s quite a ‘splinter’

A white picket fence with short focus

A collision with a fence is sure to leave some scrapes. | iStock/Getty Images

According to an article in Reader’s Digestmany ER nurses say it’s better to get an object stuck in an orifice than elsewhere in your body. Take, for example, the man who arrived with a fence post that had entered his torso just below his ribs and exited just above his opposite shoulder. He’d been in a car accident and collided with a fence. He survived, but he had to spend a month in Intensive Care.

Next: This is not the way to manage diabetes. 

She was hiding snacks

Baked chicken wings with sesame seeds and sweet chili sauce on white wooden board.

A surprising place to hide food. | DronG/iStock/Getty Images

Another gem from the Reader’s Digest article: One diabetic woman was admitted to the ER because her blood sugar was out of control, and no matter what the staff did, they couldn’t get it to stabilize. When they went to help her change into a hospital gown, pieces of chicken wings and rice started to fall out of crevices between her thighs and stomach. The woman’s son had been sneaking her forbidden food, and she’d been hiding it in the folds of her skin.

Next: This might be the most horrifying tale of all.

The freak accident

Man and woman having sex

Did this really happen? | iStock.com/grinvalds

Buzzfeed Commnity member rosemary65 shared this gruesome tale:

“A woman recently had her uterus removed and was cleared to resume normal activities. She had sex, felt a pop, and came in with her intestines falling out of her vagina.”

Next: Not every ER story is terrifying.

The baby delivery

Newborn baby holding a hand

At least the baby was healthy. | mmpile/iStock/Getty Images

Mom of six Jess Hogan was no stranger to giving birth, so when the hospital sent her home when her labor wasn’t progressing, she decided to wait things out at home. Apparently she waited too long, because eventually she and her husband rushed to the ER, where her water broke. Her husband ended up delivering their son on the ER floor. While the birth certainly wasn’t the most sanitary, it was heartwarming in a way.

Next: Is there anything you can do to avoid an ER visit?

It’s all a matter of luck

Emergency Room

Bad things happen to everyone. | Darren McCollester/Getty Images

There are things you can do to try and keep yourself healthy, of course — but avoiding the emergency room is mostly a matter of lucky. People visit the ER for a wide variety of reasons, most of which have to do with accidents. All you can do is be careful and try not to make silly mistakes that just might earn you a spot on one of these lists.

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