7 of the Craziest Medical Cases Doctors Have Seen on the Job

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021

Strange, creepy, and sometimes ugly medical cases actually exist. Here are real, unbelievable cases doctors have witnessed in the past.

honey bee or worker bee extreme close up Latin apis mellifera crawling on a white cloth in Italy in springtime
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A woman who ate a bee

Robert Glatter, MD, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, has seen more than his fair share of strange medical cases. One case involved a woman who was at a picnic. She took a sip of her soda and felt intense chest pain. She had an elevated heart rate and swollen lips. Once she began to wheeze it was clear, according to Dr. Glatter, that she swallowed a bee. Doctors were able to remove a stinger that was found embedded in her stomach lining and she recovered rapidly. Keep in mind, the patient reportedly took a sip from a soda can before feeling chest pains. Don’t miss the medical tests and procedures doctors don’t waste their money on.

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A woman who accidentally glued her eyes shut

Dr. Glatter also treated a young woman who accidentally glued her eyes shut with crazy glue. She mistakenly put superglue into her eyes instead of the antibiotic ointment she was using to treat an eye infection. Making matter worse, on her way to the ER, she mistakenly sprayed her pepper spray instead of her breath spray. “She came in saying she couldn’t breathe, with her eyes glued shut,” Dr. Glatter says. “I used a lubricant to open her eyes, and medicine to calm her nerves and open her breathing passages.”


A kid with old food stuck in his ear

Edison McDaniels, MD, had to take his ten-year-old son to the ENT clinic because of vague ear pain. McDaniels took a look with his otoscope but couldn’t determine much since his specialty is actually neurosurgery. At the clinic, the doctors examined the child under a microscope. They found a piece of popcorn that had been stuck in his ear for many years. “It had epithelialized over—skin had grown over it—and more or less mummified [it] in place,” McDaniels says. “It covered the eardrum and blocked the ear tube.” The removal was “no big deal,” according to McDaniels. The child was on antibiotics for a few days after and suffered no further hearing issues. Find out the funniest things to ever happen in a doctor’s office.

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A woman with eyelash mites

According to The Sun, a woman known only as Xu developed blepharitis and pink eye after 100 mites were found living in her eyelashes. The Chinese woman slept on the same dirty pillowcase for five years which added to the bacteria and oil flakes that built up near her eyelashes. Doctors involved in this medical case were able to remove the mites and prescribe a medication for conjunctivitis. The mites, or Demodex folliculitis, are parasites found in the hair follicles of the face. They are typically spread by pets and people, but they thrive off the body’s natural oils. That said, Health Status reports mites are mostly harmless and are relatively common. In fact, about 50 percent of people in the United States have the parasite because they sleep with their eye makeup on. Here are the 13 secrets your eye doctor wishes you knew.

Ascariasis is a disease caused by the parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides for education in laboratories.
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A hockey player with a giant tapeworm

NHL prospect Carson Meyer was infected with a 25-inch-long tapeworm, The Athletic reports. During his sophomore year at Miami University, then-20-year-old Meyer experienced persistent and unexplained fatigue and weight loss. In February, he went to the bathroom and passed a tapeworm. The doctors suspect it was diphyllobothrium latum, a tapeworm that infects humans via raw or undercooked fish. Specifically, the CDC reports this fish come from Europe, North America, Asia, and some states of the former Soviet Union.

A cockroach on its back in an almost empty glass of milk.

A woman with a cockroach stuck in her ear

Katie Holloway discovered a roach was burrowing itself in her ear. Holloway told SELF that she woke up one night by a startling pain. She swabbed it only to find tiny brown legs. Holloway’s husband tried to remove the bug too, with no luck. At the ER, a doctor used Lidocaine to temporarily numb her ear and kill the roach before pulling it out. She was given a prescription for oral antibiotics, but ultimately had to visit her doctor and an ENT to remove pieces of the roach that were still stuck in her ear.

Model brain Human,respiratory system and skeletal head models for classroom education.
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A woman with a leaky brain

Kendra Jackson was told by doctors that her runny nose was because of allergies. But Jackson knew this was something more. In addition to the never-ending runny nose, Jackson also suffered from headaches and insomnia. Finally, in May of 2018, Jackson was diagnosed with a cerebrospinal fluid leak, ABC reports. Her brain was basically “leaking” through her nose at around half-a-pint a day. Doctors determined a traumatic car accident back in 2013, where Jackson was hit from behind and hit her face on the dashboard, was the cause. If left untreated, brain leaks could lead to a serious infection. Jackson’s doctors “plugged up” the source of the leak, and she is expected to make a full recovery. Next, check out the most miraculous medical recoveries of 2017.