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Strange Emergency Room Cases | International Nurses Association
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Emergency Room Events
A female came to the emergency room with severe stomach pain. She told the nurse that she had felt bad for some time, and had recently lost weight, yet not decreased her caloric intake. The patient told her nurse she had been concerned for some time, but was embarrassed, as her bowel habits had changed as well, with what she described as a stringy mucus substance. The nurse assured her there was nothing to be embarrassed of, and the testing proceeded. Within an hour the attending physician informed the patient that she had a tapeworm, and that it was quite long. Medication was given, and the nurse monitored her until the worm passed. The nurse was instructed to measure the parasite. She had to have assistance to do so, this tape worm was 16-1/2 feet long. The patient was fine.
A 5-year-old female came to the emergency room with what appeared to be an eye infection. The nurse lowered the lid and saw what looked like small insects. An ophthalmologist was consulted to examine the young lady. It turned out the family had been to Florida 2 weeks prior and the child spent hours on the beach. Sand fleas had taken up residence in the child's eye, laying eggs and hatching out new insects. The patient was treated, with a follow up treatment two weeks later to ensure no additional egged hatched. A scar on the retina remained, however, otherwise all was fine.
Foreign Accent Syndrome is a very strange condition that makes no sense at all, and really cannot be explained. With this condition, a patient may sustain an injury and then suddenly begin speaking with an accent or in a foreign language. An emergency room saw an 80-year-old man that had a mild stroke. He was okay; however, he suddenly spoke German, and very little English. Having never learned the German language, no one could understand. When he spoke English, it was with a strong German accent. It was like his world changed. The man lived 7 years after this incident, and never lost the ability to speak German fluently. Doctors could never answer how this happened, however this is a recognized condition and does on occasion occur, not pertaining to any one particular country.
A minister of a very conservative Baptist church was shocked when he experienced what appeared to be symptoms of being intoxicated one evening. He and his wife were convinced someone at the restaurant they had eaten at, put alcohol in the food. Two days later his wife received a call that the man was in the emergency room after being stopped for driving while intoxicated. Needless to say, with his blood alcohol 3 times the legal limit, no one believed he was not drinking, except his wife. He was admitted overnight for observation and in the morning the nurse found him, once again intoxicated. A specialist was consulted, and to everyone's surprise, there was an explanation. The man had been on antibiotics for an ear infection, and it created an over-growth of yeast in his gut. This yeast fermented, and when he ate certain food or drank water, he became inebriated. Mystery solved. The man was treated for the yeast, and was back at the pulpit Sunday morning.
There is no end to bizarre cases in an emergency room. You never know what you might see or hear. It isn't a dull place for sure. Even nurses and doctors that have practiced for years are occasionally shocked by what they see.
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