The Strangest Medical Cases of 2016 (Part 2)

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2017 | Medical Malpractice


In case you missed it in our last post, Sarah G. Miller of Live Science recently wrote an article titled, “The 16 Strangest Medical Cases of 2016.” In it, she featured rare medical cases that have bewildered patients and medical practitioners alike. Some of these cases provide us with good learning opportunities for how we cause and recognize symptoms in ourselves, and how doctors approach unique medical conditions. Read below for a discussion of a few more of the most interesting cases Miller featured. 

Don’t Huff Dust Spray

The case Miller titled “Don’t Huff Dust Spray” provides a pretty clear example of how many of the incidents that land people in the emergency room or at the doctor’s office are self-inflicted and preventable. In the case of the dust spray, a man had a habit of huffing the spray to get high, which caused him to develop a rare type of bone disease called skeletal fluorosis.

Many of the other cases Miller covered were also preventable, including a man who ate a ghost pepper, a man who swallowed a cell phone, women who constantly viewed their smartphones while lying in bed, and a man who ate undercooked beef. These patients suffered, respectively, from a torn esophagus, a blocked digestive tract, temporary blindness, and a parasite attacking the digestive tract. These cases, and their horrific symptoms, are a good wake-up call to remind us that we’re responsible for our own health, and that we should know our limits (looking at you, ghost pepper man).

Mysterious Case of the Hiccups

We previously talked about the “basketball-sized cyst” case in our last post, where a doctor’s assumption that symptoms were due to a patient’s weight could have caused her harm. While that doctor may have been considered negligent, doctors in the “mysterious cause of the hiccups” case were just the opposite.

In this scenario, a man was suffering from intractable hiccups, which are hiccups lasting more than two days. The doctors followed proper procedure: first, prescribing the man medicine that could treat convulsions causing the hiccups; then, scanning his neck to view his phrenic nerve when the hiccups didn’t respond to the medicine. The doctors discovered a tumor that could have grown and caused more severe symptoms if left unchecked. While this is an example of medical practitioners doing the right thing, unfortunately, not all practitioners follow correct diagnostic procedures.

When doctors refuse to follow steps to ensure the most accurate diagnosis, they may be subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you believe that your medical condition wasn’t properly researched by a doctor and suffered injury, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney. An experienced Missouri lawyer can work through the facts of the case to determine liability, and will fight to make sure you receive any necessary compensation for your medical bills. Call Norton & Norfleet, P.C. We specialize in medical malpractice, and offer a free consultation. If you have questions, call us (816) 607-4750.


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