Doctors of reddit. What was your “how the f*ck did you survive that” moment?
(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 didnt 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.
A doctor asked me this.
I was asleep in the back of a pickup on the way back from a rugby tournament one night and we had a head on with a drunk driver. I went through the back of the cab, through the windscreen, hit and bounced off the other car and ended up maybe twenty metres from the accident. Multiple broken bones, compressed vertibrae, internal and head injuries. After multiple surgeries and a year in hospital I walked out.
At the first checkup, the surgeon, who I knew really well by then, said exactly that ‘Seriously, how the fuck did you survive that?’. My unvoiced response was ‘Sometimes I wish I hadn’t… I was the lucky one’.
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 shit, “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. Fuck yeah.
Obligatory not a dr, ex nurse though.
This happened to my gran in law. 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.
Not a doctor so sorry but ill contribute, i will never ever forget a guy coming in to the emergency ward with a fucking serrated combat knife sticking directly out of the top of his head, he was walking himself in, to this day i cannot comprehend that.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.