Hi all, this is Lynne Marshall, and I don’t know about you, but I’m always drawn to the weird and seemingly impossible stories floating around about medicine out there.
As you can tell by this book cover, some bizarre things have happened in emergency rooms. This picture of the woman who swallowed a toothbrush reminded me of a few odd cases I’ve encountered working as an RN over my career. Besides doing many years as a hospital bedside nurse, I was also a Bronchoscopy nurse, and later worked in the Gastroenterology department.
The oddest memory I have from bedside nursing was once taking care of a patient who’d been run over by a tractor. He had a gaping hole the size of a football in his abdomen, and we worked to fill it in by process of granulation, little by little each day. I had to see it to believe it, and he lived to tell about his run-in with that tractor!
As a bronchoscopy nurse, we had our share of foreign bodies making their way into the patients’ lungs. Once a dentist called for emergency help when the dental crown he was carefully placing in the patient’s mouth got inhaled. The x-ray revealed the beautiful white cap wedged inside the mainstem bronchus, and with our handy-dandy bronchoscope and forceps, I assisted as the doctor removed it.
There was also the time the older gentleman was putting up a new light fixture in his ceiling. With screw and nut held between his lips, he stood on the ladder, first taking the screw preparing to test the fit, but when he lost his balance, he inhaled the nut. You guessed it, another object lodged in the bronchial tree.
Perhaps the oddest of all, and in keeping with the toothbrush swallowing, was the time I was called into the ER to assist my on-call gastroenterologist doc with a case. The older lady was well taken care of by her husband. Each morning he gave her the little cup of pills to swallow. This particular morning, she’d complained about a headache, so he included a pain pill in its neat little foil packet. Per her routine, the lady read the morning paper, grabbed the cup of pills, tossed them back into her mouth and washed them down with a gulp of water. Except, something didn’t feel right, she’d forgotten to remove the pain pill from the foil packet! Amazingly, she’d swallowed it whole. I assisted my GI doctor as he used the endoscope and forceps to remove the foil packet from halfway down her esophagus where the sharp edges definitely left scratch marks on their way down and all the way back up. Turns out that morning, her headache was the least of her problems.
What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever experienced in medicine?
Lynne Marshall loves to write about nurses for Mills & Boon, Harlequin Special Edition, and The Wild Rose Press. Watch for her July Medical Romance Dr. Tall, Dark, and…Dangerous in both UK and US. Courting His Favorite Nurse, March 2012, Special Edition US, May 2012 UK Cherish line. An Indiscretion e-book only, The Wild Rose Press, now available.