Recently, Reddit user IAmAsianHearMeRoar asked about the things people witnessed in hospital waiting rooms, and while there were definitely a good amount of gory and sad stories, what struck me most were the utterly bizarre ones. Here are 28 of the wildest things people saw while waiting to be seen in the emergency room:
1."A woman was trying to get admitted to the mental health unit — turns out her boyfriend was a patient. She didn't get admitted; she wasn't happy about it but she left. Next thing we know there's a car doing donuts just outside of the ER entrance. She was throwing things out the window and screaming, 'am I crazy enough now?' She ends up driving around to the other side of the hospital and driving right through some sliding glass doors. She's lucky she didn't kill someone — another 10 feet and she would have crashed over a railing and into the cafeteria below, where the staff was napping on a couch. Definitely got carted away, but not to where she wanted to go."
2."Fell off my bike and fractured both bones in my wrist while at camp. While in the waiting room, I saw a boy and girl both in Wendy’s outfits, with the boy holding a very bloody towel around his hand and the girl holding a bag full of ice and something bloody. I kid you not his line was, 'so after they reattach my finger, do you wanna grab a bite to eat?'"
3."A doctor going from patient to patient asking them health questions, symptoms and so on. She did this for an hour until there was a code white announcement. Two orderlies and two security guards surrounded her and hauled her off. She was not a doctor after all."
4."Once upon a time I was waiting on news of a friend who'd been in an accident. I saw a guy (about early twenties) come in with his mom because he'd fallen off of his roof and dislocated his shoulder. After about an hour of waiting his mom just says, 'fuck it! this is taking too long!' and legit began to Google how to reset a shoulder. After about five minutes of research, she took off her belt, folded it up and told him to bite down on it. She then proceeded to violently shove her son's shoulder back into the socket while he naturally screamed in agony. Security and nurses rush over to see what the commotion is and more or less need to pull her off of him. Security sits her down and the nurses take the poor kid and get him treated."
5."I was in the waiting room for 12 hours. I saw a lot but these stick out. First, the lady who kept intentionally sticking her finger down her throat to throw up. Over and over you'd hear her retch. Finally after a couple hours, she exhausted herself but then laid down in the puke. She had to be picked up and put in a wheelchair as she refused to get up and move. Second was the really huge guy coming in for a blood clot per his loud phone conversation. Fell asleep mid-eating and had sleep apnea. The best was his tweaker girlfriend would try to wake him up by giving him a handjob. When that was unsuccessful, she went through his wallet."
6."When I was in my early 20's I had a nasty staph infection I caught at work...., the Air Force in its infinite wisdom decided they couldn't treat me on base and would just send me to the ER downtown however many times it would take to have them give me antibiotics to clear it up. Why, I don't know, but tax dollars at work, right? Anyway one day I'm in there waiting to be seen when this older farmer looking guy walks right up to the front desk holding a small Yeti-style cup. This was before Yeti became big but that's what it looked like."
"'Hey Ron,' said the nurse.
'Hey Pearl,' said the farmer.
'Brought your lunch today?' asked the nurse
'Nope, it's just my fingers,' replied the farmer as he then held up his other hand that he had previously tucked away in his coat, wrapped in bloody rags. 'Damn machine got me again.'
And that's when I realized that 1) There are some really tough dudes out there who can lose multiple fingers and drive themselves to the hospital in the same calm manner they would have going through the McDonalds drive-thru and 2) Whatever machines he was operating, I would like to never be closer than 100' to them in my life."
7."When I was roughly 11 years old, my parents and I ended up in the emergency room of one of the larger hospitals in the city due to a family emergency. This was my first experience in a city emergency room and it was much more chaotic than the country ERs (obviously). However, mom and dad needed to speak with the medical professionals without a precocious 11-year-old listening, so my dad instructed me to sit in the waiting/triage area and he vaguely gestured behind me. I sat down in the red triage area, trying to stay in view of the hallway so my parents could find me, and then looked up to observe my surroundings."
"Across from me was a 30-something man, his swollen face is bloodied as well as his clothing and his entire head is bandaged – wrapped tightly around his forehead to the back, and over and under his chin. A rather large butcher knife is protruding from the left side of his head, with the handle pointed straight to the ceiling and the blade edge facing away from me. The knife is firmly wrapped to the side of his head, and I’m guessing, keeping his ear in place. I can also see fresh blood slowly wicking through the bandages.
The man is sitting with his legs crossed and is casually reading a magazine. The knife wobbled slightly as he turned his face from page to page and he seemed particularly unconcerned there is a knife stuck in his head. I don’t recall much thought processes regarding this situation, other than a flood of questions that I was holding back.
Dad came around the corner to collect me and followed my fascinated stare, jumped slightly at the sight of the stabbed man and hauled me out of there pretty quick.
Thus, my first introduction to a city ER in a sketchy part of town."
8."I see this one kid, a teenager of maybe 17, come in with his parents. He’s looking pretty bad, with a black eye and a split lip and suffering at least some degree of concussion. He refuses to tell his parents what happened, just saying, 'I can explain later' or 'I don’t want to talk about it.' A few minutes later, a guy a little older, maybe 18 or 19, comes in limping heavily and having to be supported by his friend as he enters. Looks around for a seat, he sees the first guy, and yells, 'That’s the motherfucker right there!' His friend sprints at the younger kid and gets tackled by security and zip-tied. It takes nearly every security guard on the floor keeping them separated because apparently already being in the ER wasn’t enough they wanted to go another round."
9."Like 20 years ago waiting in the ER, I see a guy dressed up as a full monkey being wheeled on a stretcher past a large doorway and then three other monkeys following him. They were performers from the Live Lion King Show at Animal Kingdom."
10."I was in Alice Springs hospital years ago with my baby daughter and we were sitting next to an indigenous lady who I thought was holding a spear. When I remarked on the lovely dot artwork on it she proudly showed me how it was actually through her ankle — in one side and out the other."
11."Like eight years ago, I was dating a guy who had cancer and we were at the hospital trying to get in for his appointment. All the entrances were closed except the door next to the emergency room. The ER had a huge glass wall and you could see straight into the entire thing. ... The ER and the main entrance and everywhere else was locked because something was happening. There were ... a bunch of cops standing by all the exits, and you had to go in one at a time. So we stood there waiting our turn and staring at the cops in and around the ER through the glass, and they're all staring at the ceiling. One cop has a broom in his hand and he's poking ceiling tiles — they're all creeping around quietly. We were so confused, then out of nowhere there was a huge crash and some yelling. A dude's entire leg fell through one of the ceiling tiles and the tile busted on the floor."
"The cops were scrambling top speed. One jumped on his leg and everyone tried to pull him out of the ceiling. They started ripping the tiles off in from of where the dude was crawling — it looked like something straight out of a cartoon. The actual story ended up being a little sad — he had been Baker Acted [meaning he was being kept in the hospital against his will due to being a danger to himself] and was losing it trying to escape."
12."I was in the ER waiting room for a possible broken hand when I was in high school. There were a group of frat guys from the local college that were drunk off their asses trying to get their buddy seen for a really bad cut in the meat between his thumb and index fingers. I was in the waiting room for at least half an hour before I got seen and the whole time I was there the guy with the cut was squeezing the sides of his cut to make it open and close like a mouth and he did a whole comedy routine for his buddies in the waiting room like it was a ventriloquists dummy. Really gross, but fucking hilarious."
13."I was doing an IT job in a hospital when I saw a dude who’d put the front tire of his motorcycle into a pot hole and gone over the handlebars. He’d hit the ground hands first and both of his arms had compound fractures with bones sticking out. He was doing that scream, inhale, scream again thing. It was super intense. The ER doctor pumped intramuscular ketamine into both arms and he calmed RIGHT down. They put a loop of rope around his wrist, and one person held his shoulder and the other person pulled the rope to get his bones back on the inside. The dude looked at his bones going back into his skin super calmly and said in a spacey tone: 'Wow! That’s really interesting.' This was maybe 2001. I still remember it vividly."
14."A panicked guy sitting with his girlfriend, holding a ziplock bag with the tip of one of his fingers inside. Her: 'What are you going to do?' Him: 'Well, I’m NOT going to be a chef.'
15."I was sitting in the ER waiting room and this young couple comes in. The man pushing his girlfriend in a wheel chair. She’s barely conscious, slumped over and pale. As the boyfriend is checking her in, she wakes ups and Exorcist-style projectile vomits onto the floor. Nurses rush her back. The boyfriend then sits down and not a minute passes before out of nowhere he does the same! Everyone waiting slapped masks on real quick once that happened."
"This is how zombie apocalypses start."
16."A guy walked in and told the tech at the desk he having chest pain. He then dies. Right there. They had to do CPR right there. Thankfully he got thru the Cath Lab and was up talking when I ... got discharged. It also made the Karen shut up. She finally realized she might not be the sickest person in the room."
17."I held a woman’s hand as she delivered a baby right after walking into the ER. I was there with my son who was eight at the time. And that’s how my son learned where babies come from. He told me afterwards that he always thought they came out of the belly button, lol. Mom and baby were totally fine. It was pretty amazing."
"She delivered the baby herself with me and the lady who checks people in with an 18-year-old security guard standing by who was clearly questioning his career choice. I think a nurse got there as the baby was about 3/4 of the way out."
18.Similarly..."I took my (young adult) son to ER because he was having a repeated issue with heart palpitations. It wasn't that serious, but his doctor wanted him to get a scan if it happened again. We were walking to the door of the ER and saw a minivan pull up with the people around it helping a woman into the hospital. She was sobbing, so we slowed down so she and her family could get in first. It became obvious that she was in labor, and when they got in the door, she let out a blood-curdling scream, paused, and then a lump fell down her pants. A bunch of workers ran out, got the baby out of her pants...there was just complete silence for a few seconds. Then the baby cried and the whole waiting room erupted in applause! It was amazing."
19."When I was a kid I waited opposite some guy who had a real life broadsword stuck in his foot. He’d been working in some old stately home and a suit of armor toppled over and the sword impaled his foot. It was all bandaged up and not obviously bleeding, so he just sat there calmly, waiting for his turn, holding this massive sword lodged in his foot."
20."My moms favorite ER story (she spent a lot of time there with my dad as he fought drug and alcohol addiction on top of health issues) is when they were in an ER that was kind of an open concept, with just curtains for visual privacy. A couple beds in, there was a woman just moaning and screaming in pain. When the doctors went to see her and tell her what was wrong, the woman was moaning so loudly they had to yell 'YOU ARE LITERALLY FULL OF POOP!' loud enough for the whole department to hear. The woman promptly quieted down."
21."I work as a nurse in the emergency, I’ve seen some wild things. But on a lighter note, while security was busy doing two separate take downs an old guy dressed up like Santa unzipped his backpack and started handing out beers to everyone in the waiting room."
22."My appendix burst, and this was during COVID so all the beds were full. I ended up in the waiting room with an IV drip and was gowned up waiting for surgery. A guy comes in absolutely smacked out of his mind and immediately starts pissing on the chairs. A nurse tells him to stop and he hocks a loogie in her face. He then turns to me and starts speedbagging my IV like Rocky, lol. Security rushed in, scooped me up and tackled the guy. Ngl, I’ve always wanted to punch an IV bag. I was jealous."
23."I took an employee with kidney stones to the ER one time. While sitting in the waiting room, a guy came in with chest pains. He was taken back for immediate treatment. And then came the rest of his crew. He had been at a potluck picnic when it happened. And they brought the whole dang thing to the hospital. Like 40 people with casserole dishes and meat trays and such."
"Only disappointing thing was they didn’t invite me to eat."
24."Grandma brought her 19-year-old grandson in with his 19 year old girlfriend. He tried to add a stainless steel cock ring into his sex life and was apparently wrong about the size. Grandma was half laying into them for being dumb, and half busting their balls."
25."Watched a guy fake passing out so he didn’t have to wait, since there were a lot of people waiting. Asshole winked at me as he was wheeled back on a gurney."
26."A moose. My dad got wheeled back to get X-rays, so I went to the vending machines to get me and my brother drinks, and when i turned around a moose was just staring at the poor nurse behind the desk. Somebody called security but the three guys who turned up had no idea what the hell to do, nobody else in the lobby knew what to do, and eventually it just left on it’s own."
27."I’ll never forget it. I went to the ER with a kidney stone and there was an old couple sitting across from me probably in their sixties or seventies. The lady was bickering to the man complaining about how long they’ve been there. The only thing is that this woman was completely purple. Like all of her face and head was this dark purple. She didn’t appear to be in any pain, but my fuck, was she ever purple."
28.And finally..."Old man decided to take his pants off in the lobby before heading to the bathroom. Ended up spraying shit in a path on his way there. From what I understand, he was just there with a family member; not even needing to be seen."
What's the wildest things you've ever witnessed in the ER? Let us know in the comments.
Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.