Some Of The Strangest Medical Cases In 20182 months, 3 weeks ago
Posted on Dec 30, 2018, 8 p.m.
These case reports describing conditions of individual patients certainly do not carry authoritative weight such as rigorous scientific studies, but such reports can sometimes help doctors and scientists to understand or identify unusual signs of common conditions. Links to all reports are provided at the end of this article.
A California man coughed up a giant blood clot in the shape of his lung, who was then treated for a serious heart condition requiring him to take blood thinning medications. During an extreme bout of coughing the man expelled an intact cast of his right bronchial tree, meaning it was a mold made of clotted blood in the shape of the lung’s branched bronchi airway passage. It is very rare to see this type of cast made of blood, unfortunately his condition was so severe he died a week later due to complications; as reported 11/29 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
A 69 year old Seattle woman developed a fatal and rare brain eating amoeba infection, which may have been due to improper use of a neti pot. The woman had been using a neti pot to rinse her sinuses using tap water rather than the recommended sterile water or saline solution. She developed a small rash on her nose that would not go away, and had a seizure a year later. After testing for a brain tumor it was revealed that she was infected with the Balamuthia mandrillaris amoeba, such infection is rare with only about 70 cases reported within the USA since 1993. It is suspected she got the infections from using unsterilized tap water. This case was reported in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
A man from China swallowed a spoon on a dare that got stuck in his esophagus, which apparently didn’t cause him much discomfort as he left it there for a year until he was punched in the chest and began to experience chest pains and difficulty breathing. After finally seeking medical care the spoon was removed in a two hour procedure in October at the Xinjiang Meikuang General Hospital who made statement saying he is expected to recover quickly.
A 61 year old New York man developed an extremely rare and fatal brain disorder after consuming squirrel brains. The man was taken to hospital after experiencing decline in cognitive abilities and losing touch with reality. The man was reported to be a hunter and had eaten squirrel meat and/or brains, this strange dietary habit may have put him at risk for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which is a fatal brain condition caused by infectious prion proteins. An MRI scan displayed similarities to those with vCJD and it is suspected he had contracted the disease, although the diagnosis has not been officially confirmed with an autopsy. Mad cow disease is so rare only a few hundred cases have ever been reported, most of which were tied to consumption of contaminated beef in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s.
A 42 year old woman from the UK lost her contact while playing badminton but was found nearly three decades later embedded in her eyelid. The women went to see an eye doctor after her left eyelid had become swollen and started to droop. Testing revealed a cyst in her eyelid which was surgically removed, further examination of the cyst revealed the missing contact inside of the cyst she has lost when she was only 14 years old. This case was reported 8/10 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
A 45 year woman from England developed a fungal infection on her big toe and toenail that she had unsuccessfully trying to treat with garlic home remedies; not only did the treatment not work she developed severe burns on her skin. She had applied raw garlic slices to her toe for up to four hours a day for a month. The sulfur compound diallyl disulfide can irritate skin and cause burns and/or allergic reaction. The woman was treated and advised to use antifungal creams, the case was reported 7/3 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
A woman from France sought medical attention reporting feeling odd symptoms including the feeling electric shock running down her legs. As it turns out the woman had a rare infection of tapeworm larvae lurking in her spine. An MRI scan of her back showed a lesion on her spine which was surgically removed, further testing revealed the lesion was caused by an Echinococcus granulosus infection. This tapeworm found in dogs, and some farm animals can cause cystic echinococcosis in which larvae form cysts that grow slowly inside a human body. It is unclear how she became infected as she reported no contact with animals. She received anti-parasitic medicine and within 9 months has no lingering symptoms, as reported 7/11 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
A woman from Russia went into have a lump on her face that mysteriously moved around looked at. As it turns out it was a parasitic Dirofilaria repens worm crawling under her skin. This type of thread like worm naturally infects dogs, cats, foxes, and other wild animals and can be spread by mosquito bites. The worm was surgically removed and cured the infection, she went on to make a full recovery as published on 6/20 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
A 10 year old Missouri boy survived after having a meat skewer pierce his face that was stuck in his head. He was playing in a treehouse when he was attacked by wasps causing him to fall off the ladder into a rotisserie skewer. Scans showed the skewer had gone all the way through his head just underneath the skull luckily missing all critical structures including his brain, brain stem, and major nerves in a trajectory that was one in a million. Careful surgery removed the skewer and the boy made a quick recovery as published in September by KCTV news.
A 34 year old man who ate Carolina Reapers which are considered to be the hottest pepper in the world in a chili pepper eating contest experienced excruciating thunderclap headaches. The man developed intense pain in his neck and back of head, over the next few days he experienced several brief but excruciating headaches which strike suddenly and peak within 60 seconds. The headaches were determined to be caused by a condition known as reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome in which the brain arteries temporarily narrow. This is the first reported link between consuming the chili peppers and RCVS, and the man’s symptoms improved without any specific treatment. This report was published 4/9 in the journal BMJ Case reports.
Materials provided by:
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.