This is the third of a series of emergency coincidences that were interesting to me.
Double Achilles’ Trouble
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It hooks the calf muscles to the heel.
There is a risk that it will rupture or tear during athletic activities, especially with jumping or sudden movements of acceleration or deceleration. It is more common in athletes and people who have conditions that lead to less-than-healthy tendons, like diabetes, vascular disease or certain rheumatologic conditions. About 7 people in 100,000 with suffer a ruptured Achilles’ tendon.
One day, I took care of a 50-year-old obese diabetic woman who was running to catch a bus when she tore both of her Achilles’ tendons at the same time. That is a coincidence for someone with very bad luck.
Two Self-Inflicted Stab Wounds to the Abdomen
During one shift, I took care of two people who both tried to commit suicide by stabbing themselves in the abdomen. I will tell their stories by using the exact words I wrote in their medical records that night:
“This 46-year-old man with psychosis became despondent and injured himself at some hour during the night. He was found on the floor of his board-and-care facility with a laceration of the left neck and a laceration of the abdomen with viscera (guts) coming out if it. The report to us is that he was actually pulling his intestine out of the hole in his abdomen. The patient is either unwilling or unable to give a more specific history about what is going on.”
The patient was taken to the operating room to put his guts back inside him.
“A 32-year-old man got upset when his mother tried to stop him from smoking so he decided he wanted to kill himself and stabbed himself in the abdomen. He arrives in the emergency department by ambulance with a complaint of abdominal pain secondary to the stab wounds.”
The patient was found to have two stab wounds into his abdominal cavity. He also was taken to the operating room to make sure none of his internal organs was injured.
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