"I was working a nice Sunday night last summer and we hadn't been to a car or motorcycle wreck all day, so we were waiting for it. It's almost a safe bet on nice Sundays to have at least one wreck in our rural response area. We were sitting at the dinner table shooting the bull about the local substance-seekers when tones drop for a car wreck. We were heading that way when police hit us on the radio to told us it was a car vs deer. I've never hit a deer, but I've seen plenty of wrecks, so I'm thinking it would be a straightforward run. Police chimed back in that they were pretty sure the guy was DOA (dead on arrival). We rolled up on scene and lo and behold this dude was messed up. Blood everywhere. Picture this. The deer, a large antler buck, went through the windshield, antlers first, driver's side. Thrashing around and flaying this guy alive for a few seconds. Deer had cut itself badly going in and bled out but not before ripping this guys chest open and making him unrecognizable by all standards. Probably the most blood in a wreck I've ever seen."
"My jurisdiction has a lot of illegal substances, of all kinds, but speed and smack are the most prevalent. Unfortunately, a lot of teenage pregnancy as well. Combine those two and you get inexperienced abusive mothers who make mistakes.
It was a rainy Thursday evening, and we got a call for a car wreck with entrapment. We get on scene, and fire and police are frantically searching the area. I send my partner over to check on the patients and start the assessment. No sooner than I point I see what the issue is. The mother hadn't properly secured her child. Due to the rain, I assume and going way, way to fast, she wrecked. The child went through the windshield. He was decapitated due to the force of hitting the glass. His bloody body was mangled in the dash and his head nowhere to be found.
The mother did not know this and was freaking out. Officers were distracting her and trying to get her help while we searched for her child's head. I ended up finding it quite bruised and disfigured. I wrapped it in a towel to hide it from prying eyes. The firemen got into the car to secure the body. That was the toughest and most messed up thing I've done, having to tell and show a mother messed up out of her mind that her kid was killed like that. It was also the second time I've held a decapitated head in my hands."
"I had about a year and a half before I left for the Air Force, so I decided to become a certified EMT. About four months later, we responded to a traffic accident on the interstate. Big deal, these are common calls.
When we arrive at the scene, all you see is an 18-wheeler with an Oldsmobile Ciera lodged underneath it. Apparently, the 18-wheeler jackknifed while a family of three, including the family dog, in the Oldsmobile, slammed right under it. The male driver's head was snapped backward while the wife in the right passenger seat was grotesquely twisted to the right. The child in the car seat suffered minor injuries by the glass but nothing serious, she survived just fine and was taken in by their aunt. The little family dog was on the floorboard of the backseat, shivering and hiding.
After some consolation and a short break, I resigned two weeks later."
"I work as an AEMT-equivalence in Germany. One time, an old woman called us because her foot was bleeding. Nothing unusual so far, so we drove without any expectations of what was waiting for us. We arrived, rang the bell and the daughter of the old woman opened the door. The first thing I noticed, was the incredibly awful smell of decay or something rotten. The daughter showed us the way to her mom and the more we came near her, the worse the smell became. From the inside, the house looked messy as a contrary to the first sight of the house from outside.
We approached the old woman and she was wearing dirty, yellow/brown-ish stained clothes and had greasy hair. But we still wondered where this awful smell was coming from. I, until this point, had caught multiple times already, because the smell was getting more and more intense. We asked the woman what happened, and she told us that she hurt her foot and now it was bleeding. What she described as 'Blood' was a dirty one-month-old (we asked her how long she was wearing it) sock, soaked in a brown/red mix of blood, pus and old ichor.
My partner tried to remove the sock to see how bad the infection had become, and as he pulled the sock off only to her ankle, a handful of maggots fell out of the sock on to the ground. A flash of the worst smell of my life nearly got me to puke. My partner resigned quickly, removing the sock even further and put two bandages around the sock and we drove her straight to the emergency room. Waiting there was a pain too because the smell was incredibly horrible. After we handed her over, we asked ourselves how she didn't have septic symptoms already or at least fever. To this day, I'll remember the quote of the women as we asked her why she didn't change the sock or go to the doctor earlier, and she said: 'Letzen Freitag hätt des noch a bisle zucket, aber heit spür I nix mehr' ('Last Friday it itched a bit, but I'm not feeling anything anymore.')"
"I remember doing ride alongs with an EMS crew for exposure hours in my nursing school. I was sitting in the truck on a call and they wheeled in an elderly woman. She complained of weakness and shortness of breath. Fairly common and usually not emergency symptoms for old folks, so they just wheeled her in at a leisurely pace to bring her to the hospital. Her vitals were acceptable and she didn't have labored breathing. So we pull out of her neighborhood and are about 15 minutes from the hospital when she goes unresponsive and stops breathing. Lights and sirens, bagging (face mask with a bag on the end to forcibly breathe for someone) her, and EKG looked fine. That's odd. So the medic goes to intubate (put a tube down her throat so we can have a secure way to breathe for her), and no sooner does he take the oxygen mask off her face and lean over her, that she retches, full force, a Vesuvian eruption of bright red blood, right square into the medic's face. He was covered in vomity blood from head to toe, the entire truck looked like a Nightmare On Elm Street.
But the fun wasn't over yet. No sooner did she empty her entire blood supply onto the guy's glasses, that she goes into PEA (the heart is sending the electrical impulses, but the muscle is saying 'no'). So now we are pushing on her chest, still haven't intubated (airway), and each push is gushing a little more blood into the bag mask. She also lost bowel and bladder control. The garnish on this ridiculous mess. We continued the resuscitation for 10 minutes on the way to the hospital, equipment getting contaminated as we touch it, each other, and still gushed with the CPR compressions. There wasn't an inch of us, the patient, the truck, the stretcher, that didn't get coated in blood. Shoes, socks, even soaked through my scrub pants to my underwear and my skin. I was less than a year into nursing school, 18 years old, and I had old lady 'vomitblood' on my crotch. I willingly signed up for this profession and even decided to go into debt for the educational opportunity. She never made it to the hospital, but the horror on the faces of the ER team as they looked inside the truck told me that this doesn't normally happen. Stayed in nursing school. I have been a nurse 15 years."
"I received a call to an unknown medical in a CVS parking lot at around 4 a.m. I arrived to find a middle-aged man stumbling and shaking his way around the parking lot. After talking to him for a few minutes, it turns out that he had gotten kicked out of his halfway house for 'abusing' his roommates while they were sleeping. He had called 911 because 'his head felt empty and his feet felt spongy.' Can't make this stuff up. So I load the guy up into my truck and start down the road to the nearest hospital. As I am face-deep in my paperwork, I hear a commotion coming from the bench he is sitting on. I look up and the dude is furiously pleasuring himself. I yelled at him to cut that nonsense out and he said 'I can't help it. Jesus is telling me to do it' Having watched 'Bringing Out The Dead' recently, I had an idea.
I wrapped one of the foil blankets around his head turban style and placed my stethoscope on his forehead and said 'well, I don't hear Jesus anymore.' The man then proceeds to become much happier and exclaim that I had helped him so much. I walked him into the ER with the foil turban wrapped around his head. After I deposited him into a room, I warned the charge nurse not to take the foil turban off or Jesus will tell him to do naughty things. As I turn around I see the tech walking out of the room with the foil turban in hand and throw it away. I sighed and peeked my head in where the man was now nude and sprawled on the bed pleasuring himself like it was his last day on earth. I just hung my head and left. Their problem now."
"Back in the early '90s, I ran a stabbing call in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. As we approached the scene, the first arriving firetruck came over the radio and told dispatch, 'Tell the medic unit that the police are currently shooting their patient.' When we arrived at the scene, we found out that our patient was on dust and had stabbed her boyfriend with a 10-inch carving knife (another medic unit had been dispatched for him). After the police arrived, she stripped naked and started to walk toward them. After they raised their weapons and shouted for her to stop, she stuck the knife fully into her private part and pulled it up to her navel, thus disemboweling herself. At this point, she kept walking toward the police line, who were so freaked out they shot her 14 times (two of the cops were crying when we got on the scene). We transported her to the trauma center where she died within an hour."
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"My dad was sent to Oklahoma to speak at a conference. While he was there, the company he worked for had him work a few shifts. One afternoon, they received a call about a stench that was coming from an apartment unit.
Upon arrival, they knocked on the door. No answer. Once they were able to get inside, they found a deceased man in his mid-60s, sitting in a lazy-boy wearing only boxer shorts surrounded by years of filth.
When they went to move the fellow, cockroaches fell out of his underwear, and not just a few. The cockroaches from his apartment found a new home in his shorts. My father said it took everything inside him not to puke."
"Firefighter/EMT-B. We got a call from a lady who pressed her life alert button. While trying to get into her house, I peeked through the space between the blinds and the window frame and saw this naked 81-year-old woman basically crab-walking to the door. She had horrible skin tears from where she was dragging herself across the carpet. Blood everywhere. Oh, and she was a serious drinker, so she was wasted off her rocker. We forced the door and she started yelling incoherently at us and getting angry. So here we have a hammered, naked, 90-lb old woman, covered in blood and shambling/crawling across the floor while screaming at us. It was like 'The Walking Dead.'"
"It is July 2012, and I am a handful of months into my first paid service in Hartford, Connecticut. Most folks who don't know much about Connecticut assume it is this rich, affluent place, and most of the shore and southwest is. We have some of the wealthiest towns in the country. However, Hartford is a dump. It sucks, and if you want to get trauma experience in, you go to Hartford/New Haven. The crime rates are insane and you will get all sorts of horrendous nonsense. Point-in-fact, you could write off a Kevlar vest up to $700 on your taxes based on your service location so you could own one. Unfortunately, New England is hot and humid and EMS is a mobile business, and having ceramic plates wearing you down is exhausting and just not worth it.
It is sweltering, and I am responding to my second bullet wound of the week, and my third of all time. We arrive on the scene to a crowd, but before police have arrived. Folks are begging us to help this person, and it leads us to believe whatever had happened is over and this man needs our help. My medic gets on the horn and makes the executive decision to go in before the police show up. I grab our green bag (which carries most anything you will ever need), and I sprint the 50 feet to this guy. I am excited and nervous and I want to prove myself and I have the worst tunnel vision. I am doing an assessment and he is unresponsive. His vitals are low and dropping; he is unconscious. This is a young, African-American male, and he is clearly wearing gang colors. None of this occurs to me, only the two holes in his body leaking.
I ascertain that these wounds are not puncturing the lungs, and my medic gets him on oxygen as I apply pressure and dressings.. We are about to package him up for transport when I hear what sounds like firecrackers.
Next thing I know, I am facing down on the cement with my medic on top of me. I am yelling at him, asking him what his problem is, and he is dragging me behind the ambulance and away from the patient. I am furious in this moment, and then it dawns on me what is happening. We are being shot at. Someone is shooting in my direction, and it is horrifying. It was both the fastest and the slowest moment of my entire life. We got back in the rig, hit reverse, and backed down the road as fast as we can, while I got on the radio and explained what had happened.
Police were there a few minutes later. We grabbed the man, and we took him to the hospital. He crashed en route but was still alive when we got him there. I have no idea what happened to him after that."
"My dad was a paramedic in New York City in the '70s and '80s. He saw some serious stuff. His claim to fame was he not only bagged Nancy Spungen at the Chelsea (she was stabbed a multitude of times), but he also managed to bag and tag Sid Vicious (her boyfriend and alleged killer) after his overdose."
"I was once called to a head injury with an unknown origin. We arrive on the scene and there is a gentleman lying on a dock with blood all around his upper body. It seemed strange to me because there was nothing for him to fall from around where he was and there was no one around. The police arrived on scene with us so the scene was safe. We walked to the patient and it was clear that he had a bullet wound to his head(entrance and exit wounds). It seemed the bullet went into the right temple and out the left. The patient was still breathing, so we put him on a backboard, and as we were doing so, we found the weapon under his body. We get this guy in the ambulance and he is still bleeding everywhere and makes a total mess out the ambulance. We worked this guy up all the way to the hospital. We got to the trauma center and the ER trauma team works him up and he ended up living for two more weeks. On a machine of course. When we got back to the ambulance my partner and I found a piece of brain matter on the floor which was cool and gross at the same time.
We found out later that this man was depressed and whatnot and tried to kill himself. And ended up succeeding in the end."
"When I first started working as a paid EMT, I responded to a call where a biker had laid his bike down going around a curve. We thought it would be the usual road rash and maybe a few broken bones.
When we pulled onto the scene, the state trooper was standing at the trunk of his patrol car hands on the lid puking up his last meal. I then saw the 'victim' standing about 10 feet in front of where the Harley had come to rest against a curb, he was holding his midsection and slowly shuffling towards the wrecked bike.
As I got closer, all the puzzle pieces came together: a hammered biker took the curve to fast, laid the bike down on its sides going approximately 40 mph when it hit the raised curb, it launched the rider over the handlebars, well almost, the brake lever impaled his abdomen and eviscerated his intestines. I have no idea how many feet were pulled out because he was following the trail back to the bike and stuffing the dirt and sand covered organs back through the wound as he went.
We got him to stop, placed him on the stretcher and untangled the remaining mess from the bike, not much we could do for him other than clean them off the best we could and keep them moist, he never even passed out. From what I heard a few days later he lived minus several feet of intestine and will be pooping in a bag for some time."
"Bay Area paramedic here. I have two stories; one for the adult material-freaks, one for the gore freaks.
Adult: Drive a long way out into a nice neighborhood in the South Bay, to decent working class home. Home is clean, conservative. As I enter the bedroom, I notice the door has been forced. Evidently, the patient's wife has been trying to wake him, but the patient locked the door. The fire department is working on a 59-year-old man wearing nothing but a bathrobe, lying supine and unconscious in bed. There's a strong odor of ethanol about him. There's an adult video (VHS) playing on a small TV on a table at the foot of the bed. As we install a nasopharyngeal airway and administer oxygen, I notice things lying next to the patient on the bed: an empty bottle, an adult toy? is that an adult mag? another adult toy? I open patient's robe for examination: his chest is a little bloody, and he appears to be wearing a rubber or a catheter? My EMT partner brings in the gurney. As we get ready to move patient over from the bed to the gurney, I notice a latex tube with a bulb pump (like on a blood pressure cuff) on the end move with the patient. A firefighter remarks 'I don't like how this is going to end.' As we roll the patient on to his left side, the tube coming out of the bulb pump is clearly going up patient's bottom. 'Well, I'm not taking this with me,' I say. I use my trauma shears to cut the tube to let out any air; but instead of air, a trickle of nasty brown fluid comes out. Ew. Pulling the now deflated bladder attached to the tube slowly out of the patient's behind brings a big log. Double ew. Now that the thing is out of his rear, we roll him back over. I notice he got, ah, tucked, Silence of the Lambs style. His junk is now purple, and I realize the 'catheter' or 'rubber' is really a latex adult toy. I gingerly cut off the ring. Triple ew. At the hospital, the patient sobered up and went home.
Gore-y: A call comes in for a suicide attempt at 4:29 a.m., one minute before my shift was scheduled to end. I arrive on the scene at a skilled nursing facility before the fire department, with police already on-scene. I walk down the hall to where the patient's room is. Police say 'You're not going to believe this.' Walking into the room, I see a large black man standing beside the patient's bed, holding direct pressure on the L costal arch, with the patient on oxygen, 15LPM non-rebreather mask. The patient is this scrawny little white guy in his 50s, who's at the facility because of a stroke that left him with left-sided deficits and severe cognitive deficits. Holding a pair of sewing scissors, a cop says, 'He stabbed himself with scissors and pulled out two feet of his intestines. Right over there.' I stop and pick my jaw off the floor. The cop is pointing to a table with -- sure enough -- a little pile of intestines on it that looks about two feet long. My partner says, 'Anything else?' I mumble something about a trauma dressing and get one out of the airway bag; I hear my partner scurry off. The orderly, the large black man, tells me that the patient wanted to kill himself by cutting out his heart; evidently, the intestines got in the way. My partner returns with the responding fire unit; they're shuffling in like it's a total nonsense call. I hit 'em with '55-year-old male made a two-inch incision on his left abdomen, pulled out two feet of bowel,' as I'm pointing to the pile of guts. The looks on their faces must have been exactly like mine. We get to work moving this guy and transporting him to a trauma center. Though the guy's skin signs are bad, his vitals are rock solid. Strangely, the guy seems to be in no discomfort. We get a big IV in place and run a little fluid. We get to the hospital and I give my report. The docs are unimpressed by the incision but are hopefully more impressed by the hematoma under the wound, which has grown to eight inches. They also seem skeptical that the patient pulled out that much bowel until I point out that they can look inside the basin of the patient's intestine that we have considerately brought. Everyone has the same reaction. While the student doctors are debating pain management, the attending tells them to get their heads out of their behinds and get this guy into surgery NOW.
I love my job."