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With mind boggling medical mishaps...
-..and the quirkiest of casualties...
My boyfriend dropped a turnip on my foot.
..this is Bizarre ER.
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.
Coming up -
one man's feeling off key after an odd karaoke calamity.
I'll probably get an award for the most stupid man on the planet.
Hot off the press -
a paper machine mangles one woman's mitt.
-Is it a mess?
And we reveal how surgeons used a bit of this man's ear
to save his face when he was impaled on not one
but three fence posts in a catastrophic car crash.
I've never known anybody to suffer injuries like that and survive it.
But first we're heading to Bradford Royal Infirmary
where four-year-old Namine Sayed has come to A&E with her mum
as there's something unusual caught between her teeth.
Keep that there, keep it there!
And we don't just mean her nursery teacher, Lisa.
Namine has somehow managed to get a staple embedded in her gum.
Just holding my finger in place at the moment,
so that the other end of the staple doesn't pierce her cheek.
Lisa's had her finger wedged in Namine's gnashers for nearly an hour
since a classroom assistant noticed her chewing something.
When the teaching assistant asked her to open her mouth
they noticed that the staple was sticking out.
Lisa's seen kids hoover up all manner of inedible items
over the years, but this is a first.
I don't often spend my days with my finger in someone's mouth normally.
# I'm sticking with you... #
It can't be easy toddling with your teacher stapled to your face.
Hoping to extract both teacher and staple,
is paediatric specialist Nawar El-Kadir.
-You can take your hand.
-Oh, yeah, we were just worried about the...
I don't think so. It will be all right.
Dr El-Kadir begins by adopting a DIY approach.
You do it by yourself.
You do it. It's coming down, yeah. You do it, yeah.
Right, it's nearly there, yeah.
Looks like the doctor's going to have to get stuck in.
Open, open, open up, up!
It's nearly there. We're just getting it out. Open, open, up, up.
It's a hairy moment,
but at least Namine's got the whole family's support.
Ah, ah! Good girl.
Just stuck between the two teeth.
Right. I'm just going to pull it. That's it!
I don't think she need anything apart from just painkiller.
-Have you got any Calpol?
-Yeah, at home, yeah?
Just give her some Calpol, and don't do that again.
-You promise? Yeah?
-Thank you very much.
And at last, detached from both Lisa and the staple, it's playtime.
The children in A&E, we see most of the time foreign bodies in nose,
it's stuck in the nose or it's stuck in the ear.
This case is definitely bizarre. A very, very odd case to see.
From now on, let's hope Namine adopts a different staple diet.
Step into school and you're likely to encounter
as much tribulation as education.
A staggering half a million people
are sent from classroom to casualty each year.
Top marks go to books,
while blackboards get a respectable B+,
almost 100 students are pained by pins,
while bottom of the class are calculators.
These accidents with adding machines, while not frequent, can be lucrative.
One student in Suffolk received £9,000
after a calculator thrown at him chipped his tooth.
At least I can afford to go to university now.
And even if your academic career is moments from over,
don't get complacent.
Graduation Day should be a source of joy,
unless you're the student at Anglia Ruskin University
who needed stitches after being hit by a flying mortarboard.
Bizarrely 24 cases of classroom catastrophes involved wild animals.
Such was the case at a school in Michigan in 2008
where a class of little dears was terrorised by a much bigger deer,
who popped in to teach them all a lesson.
The brave buck burst in through the window
before realising he should have been in Room 2b for double French
and making a break for it.
Au revoir, my dears!
Our next patient tonight is A&E auditionee, Robert Sutcliffe.
A wannabe starlet with a weird wound.
Robert's been brought to Bradford Royal Infirmary by wife, Jules,
after stabbing himself in the leg with a carving knife.
He's plunged the blade in with so much force
that it came out the other side.
I'll probably get an award for the most stupid man on the planet but...
Ah, don't be too hard on yourself, Robert.
Not many people can claim to have single-handedly invented a new sport.
The night before, having stayed in to watch X Factor,
Robert popped to the kitchen to collect a freshly baked pizza.
Having sliced it up, he was about to come back
when he heard his favourite song coming on.
# Diamonds are forever... #
Robert needed a mic and grabbed the closest thing to hand,
a ten inch carving knife.
Dancing enthusiastically, his razor sharp rendition
came to an abrupt end as he sank the blade into his leg.
First up to judge Robert's X Factor folly
is senior nurse practitioner Simon Besford.
Right, go on, what's happened?
Right, I were watching X Factor, picked up a knife
and I held the knife as a microphone and I were dancing
with my hands like that and accidentally stuck the knife in me.
-I think he were trying to impress the dog.
-I do it all the time.
-Oh, sorry, love.
OK, what I'd like you to do is just pop down here.
It might all sound like a bit of a daft disaster,
but a stab wound from a ten inch knife is a major injury.
Simon needs to inspect the gash, sharpish.
-You've had a fair old whack, haven't you?
Robert's entry and exit wound is certainly impressing this judge.
-Tender round there?
-Tender round there?
All that just messing about, you know, dancing and acting stupid.
The area's really painful and given the depth of it,
Simon's concerned that Robert may have damaged the nerves,
which can lead to loss of function or sensation in the leg,
or, worse still, hit a vessel that supplies blood
to the rest of the limb.
Sorry, you've got quite a haematoma, which is what we call
a massive accumulation of blood just round here. You can feel it.
You've probably caught a vessel that feeds
that muscle round here, which is why you've got this spurting.
If a vessel or artery's damaged, Robert would need immediate surgery.
Simon calls in A&E specialist, Dr Ragu Nathan, for a closer look.
-Hello. Just check your pulse to begin with.
A weak pulse below the wound could indicate
Robert is bleeding out of a damaged blood vessel.
It is a serious injury because the worse scenario can be
if you're unlucky and if it's a large vessel,
it needs treatment straight away. Otherwise, he may bleed to death.
Or if he cuts a nerve, then it is dangerous.
Your pulses are OK.
Robert's been incredibly lucky
and managed to miss any of the vital arteries.
I think what has happened is you've damaged some muscle fibres.
-So what we'll do is we'll put a good dressing on that,
put you on some good antibiotics,
-and then we'll see how it is getting on. Yeah?
-But before he can leave...
-Just going to give it a little clean.
..there's a small matter of cleaning out his agonising wound.
The build up of hardened blood in Robert's thigh
has made it incredibly tender.
If he'd have come to A&E last night straight after stabbing himself,
rather than waiting until today, he could've avoided all this agony.
If you want to be famous it's the price you've got to pay.
No pain, no gain.
Yeah...I think I'd rather not.
I'm going to hide all the knives when I get home.
Once clean, nurse Simon can apply an antiseptic strip
and bandage up the leg before dishing out one last bit of advice.
Watch Strictly Come Dancing instead. It's safer.
Yeah! It's a bit slower!
Robert might not be heading to Boot Camp,
but he'll need a bit of help to take the weight off his feet.
Just pop your hands in there.
He's packed off with crutches, some antibiotics to combat pizza-based infection
and strict instructions to knock extreme karaoke on the head.
Thanks a lot, love.
But Bradford's latest reality star is going to have to learn
to live with his new-found celebrity.
You've got the X Factor!
With the adoration of his public ringing in his ears,
but having received the lowest number of votes,
Robert's heading home.
Next we're heading to Northampton General
where Tom Smith has arrived
after spending most of the afternoon up a ladder.
But it isn't a nasty tumble from a great height
that's landed Tom in A&E.
Just got blotches everywhere, all over my skin, up my back. Just everywhere.
But Tom's not allergic to ladders, his weird rash is the result
of an odd encounter whilst he was three storeys up.
-Plumber, Tom, was using his power drill...
..on top of a ladder,
-20 feet off the ground.
-It's all good.
All was good when suddenly disaster struck.
Out of nowhere a wasp went on the offensive
sticking its stinger into Tom.
Tom was almost toppled, but it wasn't the prospect
of plummeting to the ground he had to worry about.
Once down off the ladder, his ears started ringing
and his face turned red. So he was sent straight to A&E.
With Tom's immune system buzzing and with the rash spreading fast,
staff rush him through for urgent treatment.
-I'm in blotches everywhere, all over my body.
-Can you catch it?
Girlfriend Georgina arrives with her sister
and the couple's daughter, Summer.
-I can't believe it's just come out so quickly.
-It was instant.
-Is it on your legs and everything?
-Everywhere, all over my legs.
-I don't feel right, babe.
-It's all right, you can keep that.
With these touching parting words, Tom heads off for treatment.
-Where are the stings?
-Everywhere. I got stung on my neck...
Let's have a look. Can you turn for me? OK.
I got stung on my neck and straight away, my whole body, it's just everywhere.
To be honest, I wasn't really very worried until I saw him
and it looks really painful, doesn't it?
Using their own big steel stinger, medics put a line in Tom's arm
and take blood for analysis. Their biggest concern is anaphylaxis.
Worst case scenario for anaphylaxis
is the airway swells and the person struggles to breathe.
The blood pressure starts to drop very quickly. It can prove fatal.
Staff inject antihistamine,
hoping this will help rid Tom of his bizarre blotches.
With Tom now in safe hands and receiving treatment,
Georgina's attention turns to other things.
Is it on his willy? Is it everywhere?
Tom's just as preoccupied with the size of his stinger.
You never know, the swelling stays down there,
it might, you know, put a couple of extra inches on it for me!
Horrible. I bet she's out there having a right laugh, isn't she?
-Speak of the devil.
-Hello. Is everything all right?
Hey, steady on now, guys.
I hope it'll clear up by the time we go to bed tonight,
or else I'll have to sleep next to that.
-You can sleep on the sofa, love.
-You can sleep on the sofa.
-No, you can.
The drugs seem to be taking effect, but nurse Rachel wants to check Tom's blood sugar.
That's fine. 5.6, that's normal.
And make sure his blood pressure is heading in the right direction.
Everything within the normal range.
Before Doctor Subramanian comes in for a final check-up.
-Open your mouth for me. Say, "Ahh".
You're fine. Everything is going OK, so I'll discharge you.
OK, take care.
Thank you very much.
So Tom can buzz off home,
where Georgina will be waiting,
ready to keep a close eye on any swellings during the night.
Bizarre accidents aren't restricted to Northampton, and doctors deal with a range
of extraordinary emergencies across the UK.
After a terrifying car crash, one man's life, limb and face was in peril
until inspired surgeons came up with some surreal solutions to fix him,
which included using his earlobe to make a new lip.
-He's a bit of a petrol head.
I just love cars to bits.
But Sean's love of motors almost killed him, when in a devastating accident,
he wrote off his car, as well as his face.
Surgeons would have to rebuild him, harvesting bits of his own ear to mend his mouth.
MUSIC: "Highway To Hell" by AC/DC.
Sean's journey down the A-road to hell started simply enough.
It was a torrential thunderstorm at the time I set off. I just managed to hit a very flooded patch of road.
Sean lost control of the car and it flipped over and over.
The only thing that went through my mind was the words, "Oh, shit".
I knew I was going to hit something very hard.
And that hard thing was this hard fence.
Three massive fence posts, four feet long, forced their way through Sean's body.
Unbelievably, Sean was still conscious.
The pain was unbearable as he lay impaled in the seat of his car,
the lower part of his face annihilated.
It was exactly this type of fencing, part of it had gone through my leg,
part through my chest and part through my jaw.
Rescue teams rushed to the scene.
It was just horror to see this chap in the car,
lower half of his face missing.
The four minutes it took the fire crew to open the car felt like a lifetime.
We had to work quickly, get the windscreen out,
get at the gentleman and then we could treat him.
He was hardly breathing, and rescue crews feared for his life.
We suspected that he may die from his injuries on the way to the hospital,
or in theatre once he got there.
In fact, he died twice in the ambulance
on the way to the hospital.
As Sean arrived at hospital,
he was met by a tag team of trauma experts.
One would work on his face...
75% of his lower lip was missing.
While the other simultaneously tried to save his shoulder.
Quite literally, he was a mess.
Maxillofacial surgeon Peter Leopard quickly set about the task of rebuilding Sean's jaw.
The jaw was in nine pieces.
Like a horrific 3D jigsaw, using a series of plates and screws,
his jawbone was painstakingly put back together.
These are bone screws holding the fragments together.
Reconstructing the jigsaw is really quite tricky sometimes.
With Sean's jaw repaired, he now needed new lips.
That's difficult, where you've got three-quarters of the lower lip missing, still at the roadside.
Lips are more important than you think - not only do they hold things in our mouth,
they help us eat, and we need them to speak.
Doctors would have to make Sean some new ones. But what from?
Earlobes provides a reasonable profile, similar to the lower lip.
Bizarrely, surgeons harvested Sean's own earlobe
and stitched it onto what remained of his lips.
While Peter Leopard was rearranging Sean's face,
Jon Dwyer was right by his side, repairing the damage done to Sean's shoulder.
All of the muscles and tendons and ligaments that normally stabilise a shoulder
had been ripped off. It was the most bizarre injury I have ever encountered.
He began by cleaning out the wound.
Dirty, rotten, wooden,
mouldy fence post material, of which there was an awful lot.
There was a large risk of infection, so the wound was kept open
and cleaned meticulously, which proved time-consuming.
It ran over into Friday 13th.
The fence post had smashed the shoulder to smithereens.
Normally, an arm this badly damaged would be amputated,
but as Sean was left-handed, they decided to rescue the limb.
Surgeons had done a remarkable job,
but it was by no means the end of the road.
The repairs were only temporary, and they'd have to use all their ingenuity and skill
to devise more permanent solutions for Sean.
Their biggest challenges lay ahead.
Sean's earlobe lip didn't last long, so he needed another new set of smackers.
The best solution would be an Abbe nasal flap, which would involve drawing part of the upper lip down
to connect to its lower lip before slitting across the connective tissue.
They took this section from my upper lip, stitched it to my lower lip.
I couldn't open my mouth properly, I just had two small apertures either side, in the corner of my mouth.
Which would mean Sean's mouth would be stitched together for ten days, waiting for the skin to graft.
I developed a new skill, the ability to eat chips and push them through the holes in my face.
Finally, Sean's new mouth was cut open
and he was able to enjoy his first meal of choice...a burger.
While Sean's new mouth was being made, surgeons were also looking at ways to fix his shoulder,
which had so much muscle damage that regular medical devices couldn't be used.
Surgeons embarked on a solution that was both bizarre and lengthy, taking two years to complete.
They deployed a device usually used in children's hip replacements,
as it was the perfect size for Sean's shoulder.
They lengthened the arm by cutting the bone
and letting it grow back while being stretched by an external fixator.
The arm that was almost amputated made an amazing recovery,
allowing Sean to get on with life.
So even though I have no rotational joint, I do have the ability to move my arm up and down.
He'll be able to reach his mouth, the back of his head, or his backside,
which is the important function of the elbow and shoulder together.
I've never asked him about his backside - the doctor-patient relationship will only go so far!
We're both delighted that he survived and made a good recovery.
I've never known anybody to suffer injuries like that and survive it...
in 37 years.
Thanks to the quick response of rescue teams,
and the staggering skill of surgeons, Sean's able to live life to the full.
No matter how bleak things get, there's always a chance
that things will be better round the corner, and I've never given up.
Next, we're at Bradford Royal Infirmary, where printing press operator Denise Swithenbank
has been rushed to A&E with a hand like a newspaper.
Yes, that's right... it's red all over!
I daren't look at it, but I did hear it pop when it went in the machine.
You've got a nasty cut right through it, really... OK?
Viewers who don't want to see exactly what popped should look away now.
-Is it a mess?
An hour ago, Denise was repairing the conveyor belt on a machine at work.
With the belt back on the rollers, she turned the machine on, but it slipped out of position.
Without turning the machine off, she leant in to grab the belt.
Her fingers were sucked into the rollers, pulled along the belt and mangled by the mechanism.
Yeah, just try and make a fist with this finger for me.
It looks like she's cut the arteries that supply the tip of the finger and the nerves.
Which means it'll probably be better from her point of view
to do an amputation of the bit of finger
that's three-quarter chopped off already.
Denise's digit is so badly damaged, Mr Bradley fears she may lose half of it,
but his first priority is pain relief,
which he needs to pump directly into the site of the wound.
That means injecting a mixture of fast and slow-acting anaesthetics to block the pain.
-It's just two little injections... Is that very sore?
-No, it's fine.
-Once the needle's gone in, it's fine.
-Ooh, that's sore.
Unfortunately for Denise, this painkiller hurts.
One more injection, just nice and relaxed.
-OK. How does your middle finger feel?
You just saying that cos you don't want another injection?
Anything but another injection!
Denise remains incredibly brave, but there's more bad news to come.
This time about her wedding ring.
If you have a rigid ring, it can act like a tourniquet as it swells,
it can cut the blood supply off in the most severe cases.
The ring has been on Denise's finger for 27 happy years,
but today, it's got to come off.
My husband will have to buy me a new one.
That's if he doesn't divorce me for being so stupid!
Just pop your finger there for me.
As her paw's all puffed up, it's not just a matter of slipping it off,
and staff have to resort to the ring cutter.
It's quite a thick ring... there we are.
Surgery on a wedding ring!
You can have them repaired at the jewellers - it's quite misshaped anyway, so...
27 years of hitting my husband over the head!
With the ring removed, Mr Bradley can finally send Denise to X-ray to get a closer look at her hand,
fearing the results will point to amputation.
So, Doc, what are the headlines?
Well, it's pretty good, we might save the tip.
I'm pleasantly surprised, because it shows that the end bone of her finger,
the distal phalanx, has a few little fractures in it, but is largely intact.
But it will all depend on the blood supply. It's not as severe as I thought. She's very lucky.
Mr Bradley sends Denise up to see plastic surgeon Raghav Kulkarni,
who's been assigned the task of repairing her decimated digits.
This doesn't seem too bad, but we need to explore these cuts to see...
you don't seem to have done anything major, and the blood supply and vascularity to the finger
seems to be good and the tendons seem to be reasonably intact.
An hour later, Denise is on her way to theatre to have her finger stitched up.
Once she's under general anaesthetic, Raghav can have a good look at the wounds
on the index and middle fingers.
He checks for any dirt or debris, before stitching the fingers up
and then administers the ultimate medical manicure...
sticking her fingernail back on.
So now we're observing this finger, and seeing that it's kept warm and it pinks up,
and we expect it to pink up as time goes by.
This is probably one of the better outcomes that we're looking for. So far, things are positive.
The next afternoon, Denise's hand couldn't look more different.
It looks a thousand times better than yesterday.
Yesterday, I thought, "They'll never make that look any better."
I honestly expected two amputations when I came in yesterday.
I'm very impressed.
Ahh, just in time.
Meals on wheels with a hearty bowl of oxtail soup.
Not really - that's actually an antiseptic hand bath
for Denise to dip her digits in to kill off any germs.
-It's incredible what they've done.
-Before her hand's all dressed up with somewhere to go.
Remarkably, thanks to the combined efforts of the Bradford staff,
that evening, Denise and her patched-up paw are discharged
and we're happy to report that just two months on, her hand was on the mend
and hubby Chris could slip a new ring on her finger.
Next time on Bizarre ER,
a weird wound proves painful for one woodsman...
There's a bizarre blockage in one little lughole...
Is that all of it or just part of it?
And the mind-boggling story of how this woman broke her neck
after falling from a New Mexico mountain, and yet lived to tell us her tale.
When people fall straight down 20 feet, that's when terrible damage occurs to the human body,
and she fell three times that far.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail - [email protected]
Featuring a man who stabbed himself in the leg after using a carving knife as a mic during an impromptu karaoke performance; a woman who nearly lost her fingers when she mangled her hand in a printing machine; a plumber whose massive reaction to a wasp sting left him covered in bizarre blotches; and a toddler with a staple stuck in her gum.
Plus, how surgeons used part of a man's ear to mend his mouth after his jaw was decimated in a catastrophic car crash.