Documentary series about eye-watering medical cases in A&E, including a man who superglued a top hat to his head and a patient who has been suffering with a nosebleed for a week.
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# Emergency! #
-With mind-boggling medical mishaps...
..and the quirkiest of casualties...
My boyfriend dropped a turnip on my foot.
-..Bizarre ER is back.
-# So come on! #
And for the first time we've camped out in not one, but two British hospitals -
Northampton General and Bradford Royal Infirmary...
..to bring you the curious cases that are all in a day's work for the stoic staff...
-Can you see your pound coin there?
-..but which have to be seen to be believed.
Plus, we've scoured the planet for the people who - thanks to amazing medics -
have survived the most extraordinary accidents and emergencies known to man.
Nobody believes they're going to get the Black Death.
So scrub up, sit back and enjoy the sometimes silly, often odd
but never dull world of Bizarre ER.
-All I can say is, thank heavens for the NHS.
# Bringing out the best in me. #
Coming up tonight, the astonishing case of a man who's had a nosebleed for a week...
It's been a bit of an eye-opener for Roger, I'm afraid.
..a Texan barber has a close shave after being attacked by a giant swarm of killer bees...
His head looked like a pin cushion.
I thought he was dead.
..and we cordially invite you to the first ever Bizarre ER wedding.
But first, we head to Bradford, where it's the day after Halloween
and one trick-or-treater has ended up in A&E looking a fright.
Sean Murtagh and his partner Lee are in A&E after Sean took last night's fancy dress theme a step too far.
I dressed up for Halloween last night and superglued this hat to my head.
Yes, you did hear him right. He superglued a hat to his head.
I had fabric glue, which is washable,
but it wasn't sticking, so in a mad moment, I decided to use superglue.
On hand to help Sean out of his bizarre bonnet is Dr Shabir.
Sean Murtagh. Cubicle one, please.
Let's hope Dr Shabir knows as much about millinery as he does medicine,
as he goes in to inspect Sean's freaky fashion faux pas.
That's good, seems like part of it's already coming off. That's brilliant.
About 50% of the hat is still stuck on. Right, OK.
Superglue, obviously, is quite strong.
If you try ripping it off, you're just left with a skin tear there and that can lead to an infection.
I'll speak to the plastics doctor, see if there's a solvent we can use
to help dissolve this glue quicker.
If not, to make it look not as silly, we can potentially cut around the hat so we can take it off,
so you've just got the rim there.
I'm a store manager, I can't go to work with a sequin top hat on! Oh, dear!
# Barbra Streisand. #
At times like these, it's always great to have the support of your loved ones.
I have taken quite a few pictures and sent them to my family.
My mum found it hysterical.
Right, Sean, I've had a word with the plastics doctor.
What we're going to do is, we'll let you go home.
If you want, we can cut around the rim so it doesn't stick out as much.
Just use warm water and just run around that area.
It takes about two to three days, but it will come off.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes, that's fine. Thank you very much.
Just take a seat outside.
Now it's just a case of drawing up our fashion victim's medical record.
I can't say I've ever seen that before.
When he first came in I thought it might have been a prank, but it wasn't.
We'll cut off most of his hat so he won't look that much of an idiot, but nevertheless...
You've got to take your hat off to Sean.
He's remaining calm, even though he's on his way to an amputation.
Although this is one appendage he'll be happy to have lopped off.
It's quite painful, actually.
In just one quick snip, Sean's sequined hat has been reduced to a diamante doughnut.
I don't know which looks worse! I think we should leave it back on.
-It won't damage my hair follicles, will it?
-I wouldn't think so.
-It'll grow back, I'm sure.
-I just really don't want to lose my hair.
# You can leave your hat on
# You can leave your hat on... #
To top off his day, Sean leaves A&E looking even more bizarre than when he arrived.
But we're happy to report that after a 12-hour soak, Sean and what's left of his hat were finally parted.
Removing a hat might be a hoot for both patients and staff,
but over at Northampton General, a more serious case has come into Casualty.
A collision with a car has left Nick Fortley flat on his back.
The first thing doctors want to do is to check that Nick's spine hasn't been damaged.
Just yes or no for me.
Each vertebra needs to be checked as any damage might lead to paralysis.
-Each no from Nick means the spine bones are intact.
After three everybody. One, two, three.
As if things weren't bad enough, today is Nick's wedding day,
and as he's wheeled down to X-Ray, fiancee Emma is in the waiting area.
Hopeful that Nick will still be able to take her up the aisle,
she's frantically making last-minute changes to her wedding plans.
I've been planning my wedding for two years.
Two whole years. Today is the big day and I'm sitting in A&E.
Love was in the air on Nick and Emma's big day.
-I love you.
-I love you more.
Ahead of the nuptials, Nick nipped out to attend to some last-minute wedding preparations.
As a massive motor bike fan, Nick had booked a brand-new Harley to get him to the church on time
and he couldn't resist taking it out for a quick spin before the ceremony.
-But Nick's plans hit the skids
when a car crashed straight into the side of him, sending our va-va-vroom groom flying.
# Born to be wild... #
After hitting the deck with an ear-splitting snap,
Nick began to get the sinking feeling that he might end up hobbling up the aisle.
This is not good.
Hoping that he'll make it to the altar, Nick uses his downtime to practise his wedding speech.
The X-rays reveal that Nick's spine is fine, but his leg hasn't been so lucky.
We need to get this to theatre fairly urgently, I think.
You can see the fibula, the smaller of the two bones, is actually in one, two, three, four parts.
That's what we call a comminuted fracture.
With his leg bones in bits, Nick will be heading for surgery, not matrimony.
But before that, our broken bridegroom has to brace himself for a painful procedure.
The team have to straighten his leg by hand to bring his bones back into line, ready for his surgery.
Are you all right there?
With a fracture this bad, it's not just the wedding at stake.
Nick could lose his leg.
There are a lot of potential complications,
and it could potentially have been limb-threatening,
in that he would need an amputation.
Nick's leg is put in a temporary cast to keep the bones in place,
and the not-so-happy couple get to spend a few fleeting moments together
before Emma has to make a heartbreaking decision.
In just one hour, 85 guests are arriving for a sit-down dinner.
Should she call the whole thing off and send the revellers home
or be a brave bride and party on without her beau?
Every bride's worst possible nightmare ever.
It's meant to be the happiest day of my life and I just would like my groom.
# I don't want to leave you behind
# I don't want to leave you tonight... #
We'll find out how Nick fared in theatre and discover if Emma
spent her wedding night home alone later in the show.
Emma and Nick aren't the only people
to end their wedding day in sickness rather than health.
The average wedding is essentially a death trap.
Every year, 365 people get one in the eye from a champagne cork,
and there are nearly 600 cake casualties.
If the cake doesn't kill you, the venue might.
In 2008, a Chinese couple luckily escaped without injury
when the Sichuan earthquake struck midway through their marriage.
Did earth move for you?
And in a New York nuptial in 2007, guests were gassed
when a faulty boiler started to leak carbon monoxide.
What's up, dude?
Each year, 750 eager bridesmaids get a bruising
in the mad dash to get their paws on the precious bouquet.
But scariest and most dangerous of all is the bonkers Bridezilla.
In 2003, a Connecticut bride went on a rampage
when the restaurant closed the bar at her reception.
The matrimonial monster threw gifts and cakes at staff
before biting the policeman sent in to restrain her.
But take heart, wannabe newlyweds - if you can survive the corks,
cakes and quakes, married life is actually good for you.
One study found that compared to singletons,
married women live an extra four years,
while married men live a whopping ten years longer.
Until death do them part.
# It's a nice day for a white wedding... #
Along with breaks and abrasions, blood is an all too familiar sight at Northampton General A&E.
What they don't see every day is someone who's been bleeding out of their beak for a week!
Someone like Roger Thurlow.
I suppose it did start on Monday morning when I went into the office,
and it's now...8.30 at night on Friday.
It's been a bit of an eye-opener for Roger, I'm afraid.
Despite the blood-soaked bandage hooked under his hooter,
managing Roger's discharge is a full-time job.
We're tearing bits off as Roger needs them,
just to stem a little bit of the, erm...
I got through one of those already today.
Roger's troubles began with a polyp, a build-up of hard skin on the inside of the nostril.
The polyp was removed in a routine procedure, but a few days later, bleeding began.
A nosebleed might not seem that dangerous,
but Roger's at risk from some potentially nasty complications.
If a person loses a lot of blood, he can die from it.
He can die from shock and blood-clotting problems.
It's potentially a life-threatening condition.
With congealed blood backing up in Roger's nose and throat,
Dr Salvia knows what's coming and kits herself out accordingly.
-Her first job is to clear the blocked passages.
-All right, are you ready?
-OK, I'm going to take the bolster now.
I'm going to look away.
If, like Carole, you're a little squeamish, you'd be well advised to look away now.
As the bolster comes away, a nostril full of congealed blood comes with it.
And once the nose is hoovered out, Dr Salvia's next step
is to insert creamed packs up the nostrils to prevent further bleeding.
I'm just going to put this...
Hopefully, this would stop the bleeding.
Oh, right, so no need to cauterise anything?
No need to cauterise anything.
-There's white stuff, it's antibacterial.
Unfortunately for Roger, his throat is filled with more of these blood slugs.
There's only one simple way to get them out and it's not pleasant.
I can't stand the sight of blood.
Time for Carole and anyone out there watching who's not clean on the sight of blood to look away again.
Cough it out, cough it out. Excellent, well done.
It's horrific, absolutely horrific.
That brought a bit more up.
-I can honestly say I haven't seen as bad on the horror movies.
I mean, it was just phenomenal.
It was like a large piece of liver.
We then saw something rather like a whole sliver of liver, wasn't it?
It was just absolutely amazingly bad.
After a quick gargle and a rinse, it's clear the bleeding still hasn't stopped,
and Dr Salvia tries a new approach -
inflatable packs known as nasal tampons to keep the blood at bay.
-Oh, God! Strewth!
Sorry, it's just horrible.
Oh, it's not nice.
-It's all right.
-I'm inflating some air to hold it, to stop the bleeding. It's like pressure.
That's right - Dr Salvia is going to blow up those brain ticklers like a bicycle tyre.
If these packs don't stop the flow, the only other option is surgery.
Roger will stay in the ward overnight, but for now, medics have managed to stem the tide of blood.
All I can say is, thank heavens for the NHS.
After his horrific ordeal, Roger can finally rest.
It's a whole three days before doctors give the go-ahead for the removal of Roger's packs.
The ice is going to constrict the blood vessels on the bridge of the nose,
so when the packs come out, there won't be any bleeding, hopefully.
-OK... I'm just going to gently remove these packs.
Bit of a tugging.
Very well done, you're doing really well.
Just keep breathing normally for me.
-Well, I've got to say, that was a cinch.
-If bleeding resumes now, Roger will be straight into surgery.
-Sorry. You all right?
-Yeah, that one's a little more...
-That's all right, though.
-OK? Well done.
The packs do come out smoothly, but there's a nerve-racking wait to see if bleeding begins again.
It's a sudden shock to find you can breathe through your nose again.
I'm a very happy chappie.
An hour later, Roger's out of bed and ready to go home.
First thing you want when you get home, nice cup of tea.
I'm really looking forward to that.
Yeah, it's nice that he's going to be coming home.
With Roger finally breathing easy and Carole off bog roll duty,
the couple head home for a well-earned cuppa.
But we reckon Roger might be giving the jammy dodgers a miss.
Bizarre cases aren't just restricted to Britain.
This series, we've gone global in our search for the most extraordinary emergencies on Earth.
Across the pond, one man's plans for an afternoon in the Texas sunshine
turned into surreal horror
when he got caught in the deadliest of honey traps.
-My dad's getting eaten up by bees.'
His face was just black, about two inches thick, full of bees.
-Is he having difficulty breathing or swallowing?
Every time I tried to move him, they'd just fall off and make room for more to hit him.
'I can't get to him. They're killing him.' I thought he was dead.
Lamar LaCaze is a Texas barber,
John Wayne fanatic, steer roper
and now bee attack survivor.
Last summer, after a busy morning cutting hair,
he decided to give the weeds on his land a short back and sides.
Lamar didn't know it, but he had the neighbours from hell.
At the edge of his property was a rusty old water heater, home to 70,000 Africanised honey bees.
-We call them the killer bees.
Bee attacks can be started by loud noise and vibrations
like, oh, a tractor, say, even up to 100 feet away.
I didn't see one bee or two bees or anything.
They were just there.
A dense, deadly, black cloud of bees swarmed over Lamar in a flash.
Over 2,000 bees attacked Lamar's head, targeting the warmth of his breath, suffocating him.
They'd fly up my nose.
I'd blow them out and then I'd try to breathe and they'd fly into my mouth.
I had to spit them out.
This kamikaze colony of apian assassins sank more than 2,000 stingers into his skin.
I couldn't open my eyes cos they'd sting me.
Got in my ears, stung in the nose. I tried to mash them and get them off.
Lamar collapsed as the devastating dose of poisonous bee venom brought him closer and closer to death.
I said, I can't lose consciousness,
because if I do, they're going to get in my mouth, up my nose and suffocate me.
You'd be a goner then.
Lamar's son Trey embarked on a desperate 90-minute search to track down his dad.
He was slumped over with his head against the fence
and I thought he was dead.
When fire brigade paramedics found Lamar smothered in bees, they feared the worst.
He wasn't moving at all.
He didn't look like he was breathing.
This limp body was laying there.
Firefighters blasted Lamar's head with bee-killing foam, but feared this would be a hopeless case.
Until Lamar moaned.
I remember looking at my partner and going,
"Oh, crud, he's still alive."
His body flooded with deadly toxic venom and barely breathing, Lamar was rushed to Seton Medical Center.
His wife Lois watched ER staff swarm over him to save his life.
All I could hear was the doctor giving orders,
a nurse was putting in an IV, somebody was cutting his jeans off,
somebody was trying to ask him questions and he was not responding.
Somebody else said, "There's a bee coming out of his ear."
Over 2,000 stingers had left Lamar's head covered in bruises,
-blisters and black spots.
-What I thought was dirt
all over this gentleman's head, shoulders, neck.
The ear canal, the throat and the neck,
-When we separated his eyelids, there were bee stingers along the lash line.
His head looked like a pin cushion.
The stinger has a sac of venom on the end of it, so you take the tip of the tweezers
and you get as close to the skin as you can and pull on the stinger,
trying not to squeeze any more venom into Mr LaCaze's skin.
I said, "I think I've still got some in the roof of my mouth,"
so she took a pair of tweezers and pulled eight more out of the top of my mouth.
It wasn't just a couple here and there.
It was black by the time we were done pulling them out.
Medics found it hard to keep a tally on the total of stingers stuck in Lamar.
Somewhere after the 1,200 mark they lost count.
The pain of just one sting is bad enough for some,
but it's the poisonous venom that can be life-threatening, as Lamar found out.
He swelled more and more, and by morning, he was completely blind.
50 stings can cause cramps, shortness of breath and a rapid pulse.
He was not out of the woods. In fact, he was just getting really worse.
The venom from 100 stings can paralyse the respiratory system, and in some cases kill.
Lamar had 20 times this amount.
He began to bleed from his eyes, his nose and his ears
a couple of days after he was in the hospital,
when he should have been getting better.
I said, "Lamar, I love you,"
and he still didn't respond.
The venom was also eating away at Lamar's muscles and organs.
He had muscle damage to the heart, he had muscle damage to the body and he also had kidney damage.
Against the odds, Lamar started to come back from the brink of death.
But his progress was slow.
His recovery took a staggering seven days.
Dialysis helped flush out the venom, the swelling subsided,
and one by one, his ravaged organs started to come back online.
They saved my life up there at the hospital.
After a week in intensive care, Lamar was allowed home.
The killer bees were now just killer wannabes, but the attack has left a sting in the tail.
One night I woke up fighting bees.
Now I have these phantom nerves.
I keep slapping myself.
A beekeeper removed 70,000 bees from the old hive, taking away 13 giant combs of honey.
She called it the Killer Bee Honey.
It was just as clear and pretty as you could see.
Tastes good too.
It's sweet to see Lamar's not bitter.
This series, the Bizarre ER confessional is back.
We've invited medics from across the land to share the funniest
and freakiest things they've seen in A&E.
These stories might sound far-fetched, but they're all 100% true.
We had this old fella in the days before Viagra who couldn't maintain his erection,
and you know those penile rings
that you put at the base of the penis that keeps it engorged?
What he did was, he took his bike padlock,
which wasn't an ordinary padlock, it was a combination lock,
and he stuck that round the end of his penis, had sex,
and then, because I think he was elderly, he forgot the combination.
Forgot the combination! By the time he came to A&E, his knob was three times the normal size and blue.
I'm glad to say we were able to get it off with a hacksaw.
Funnily enough, he didn't want the lock back.
One of my colleagues was asked to examine
someone's back passage with a proctoscope.
A proctoscope is like a sort of Perspex cigar holder,
and so what he had to do was to put this cigar holder, sort of Perspex thing,
up the guy's bottom so he could see inside to look at the lining.
So he puts this thing inside him, he removes the introducer and he peers down.
He has a light over his shoulder so that he can see inside,
and he looks down it and all he can see is this crazy psychedelic pattern,
and then he suddenly realised what he's done is,
he'd pushed his tie into the guy's bottom, so he's left hanging.
He just asks the nurse for scissors and just chops it off.
Earlier in the show, we met nearly-weds Nick and Emma.
Their big day was blighted when Nick came off his Harley at high speed.
It was down to Emma to decide whether to go ahead with the knees-up without Nick
or spend the night by his bedside in her bridal veil.
So which did she opt for?
Nick wanted the party to go on, so I'm here, veil, no dress, no wedding ring.
-And of course, no groom.
-There's a little picture of him.
He's here in spirit but not in body.
And finally, there's reason to celebrate.
We've heard from Nick. He's out of surgery, bit groggy on the morphine.
He's OK and he'll be on the mend soon.
I spent ages pondering over the speech and put it carefully together, but...
-And you've just ripped it up!
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like raise a glass to what will be, in time, the happy couple.
Nick's awake, but it's all a bit hazy.
I can remember exactly what happened but it all seems like it was 50 years ago.
The last text that I got on my phone was off someone wishing me good luck in a traditional manner
by saying, "Hope everything goes well today, cuz, and break a leg."
And lo and behold, that's exactly what happened.
While Nick's beloved has been sipping champers,
surgeons have hammered a titanium bar into his leg
and screwed it in place to support the bones and help them heal.
The quicker I can get recovered and get life back to normal,
the quicker we can get married.
She knows I love her, so job's a good 'un, hopefully.
Finally, the stricken couple are reunited.
I come bearing gifts for the invalid.
I hope he's all right.
Ah, the smell of disinfectant and an oxygen mask for a hat.
It's what every couple dreams of on their wedding night.
But at least it hasn't dampened Nick and Emma's love.
It's two months later, and Nick's better but still not back on his feet.
I've no longer got a plaster. It's called an air boot,
which is removable, referred to in the hospital as a Beckham Boot.
We've got loads of things in common, me and Dave!
And just like Dave, our couple are front page news.
It was in the Mail and stuff, wasn't it?
The Mail, the Telegraph.
-Some Russian website.
We're worldwide celebrities now.
And will there still be a celebrity wedding?
Well, at the moment, the wedding is just miles away
because I don't even know when I'm going to be able to walk.
I don't want push him in a wheelchair with my dress and veil and heels on.
It's just not a good look for a new bride.
-After all this, Em, do you still want to marry me?
-Yeah, go on, then.
Next time on Bizarre ER, we meet a lady with a very peculiar pout...
one student has a jaw-dropping emergency...
SHE MUMBLES Sorry?
..and a medieval menace makes a comeback in modern day Manhattan.
I just could not believe that we really had the plague.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Sheridan Smith narrates a series which follows the most extraordinary and fascinating A&E cases from two British hospitals, and recounts amazing tales of medical survival from around the world.
We meet a man who superglued a tiny top hat to his head; a patient who has been suffering with a nosebleed for a week; and a couple whose wedding day ended in surgery rather than matrimony after a bizarre motorbike accident.
Plus, the Texan barber who survived a near-fatal attack by a swarm of more than 2,000 killer bees, and medical professionals confess the oddest and most outlandish cases they have been confrontred with in casualty.