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2012’s Top 5 Unusual EMS-Related News Stories


Some rather unusual news stories graced the electronic pages of JEMS.com in 2012. They were the kinds of stories that -- the titles alone -- made you do a double take. Not surprisingly, the JEMS Facebook fans had a lot to say about these stories. Below, in no particular order, you’ll find some of their commentary along with the top five most bizarre, EMS-related news stories of the year.

Raw Video: Fla. Man Dies after Live Roach-Eating Contest
In October, raw video footage showed Edward Archbold, 32, participating in a bug-eating contest outside Ben Siegel Reptile Store in South Florida. The grand prize was a python. Archbold became ill shortly after the contest ended and collapsed. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Autopsy results revealed that he died as a result of "asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents."

What our Facebook fans said:
Omar T. said: “And this week’s Darwin Award goes to …”
Lee W. said: “Who got the python then? Hell, if I got it, I'd name it Darwin.”
Marcia C. said: “The bugs (micro or macro) will always eventually win!”
Ben L. said: “Surprise!”

Alcohol 'Enema' Sends Tennessee Student to Hospital
In September, medical personnel treated a University of Tennessee, Knoxville student for severe alcohol poisoning from a bizarre consumption method: butt chugging. Authorities think 20-year-old Alexander P. Broughton, of Memphis, who had a blood-alcohol level thought to be well over 0.40%, ingested the wine by inserting a tube directly into his rectum for quick and potent absorption.

What our Facebook fans said:
Ralph F. said: “I realize this story is tragic, but I cannot read 'butt chugging' without laughing.”
Joey C. said: “I had a young girl who put a vodka-soaked tampon up her a**. Same story -- alcohol poisoning. Who comes up with an idea like that anyway? Nasty.”
Matt W. said: “We need to stop saving some lives.”
Eric C. said: “I have run this call. I had two unresponsive patients, both of which had two shots of Bacardi 151 poured into condoms inserted into the rectum and then they burst. Not one of my favorite calls.”
Ronnie C. said: “And these people will one day lead this country. On that note, I hear Canada is nice this time of year.”

Alabama Man Poisoned by Decapitated Snake Head
In March, a homeless man in Alabama handling a decapitated snake head was treated after being poisoned by the snake's venom.  Responders said the 41-year-old man stuck his finger in what was believed to be the head of a cotton mouth. The snake's fangs broke his skin. The man initially refused medical treatment, but paramedics were called back to the scene when the man began showing the effects of venom poisoning.

What our Facebook fans said:
Julie W. said: “That's a new one. Though, I did get stung by a dead bee when I was a kid.”
Melinda J. said: “My nephew was bitten by a decapitated snake head. It happened in Paris, Tenn. He picked the head up and put his finger in the mouth and evidently stimulated a reflex. It bit down and injected venom. True story.”
Frank L. said: “Something pointy and poisonous. I think I'll play with it!”
Becca G. said: “I had a guy (intoxicated) who was trying to create a rattlesnake hat band for his cowboy hat with a ‘dead’ rattlesnake when it bit him.”

Odd Cat-Mouse Incident Strikes Oregon Man with Plague
In July, an Oregon man contracted a rare case of the plague trying to take a mouse from the jaws of a choking cat at his home. His hands were withered by the cell-killing infection and darkened to the color of charcoal.

What our Facebook fans said:
Vicente F. said: “Looks like frostbite.”
Erick F. said: “That’s a scary moment when you're sitting in the back of an ambulance with a patient with no signs or symptoms, and it turns out they have Bubonic Plague! Do you rub sterile wipes all over your body and check your partner for fleas like monkeys? Because I would ...”
Brandi R. said: “I had no idea this still existed. Wow!”
Michelle P. said: “I ran a call on a guy with toes like that. He was diabetic and had a hangnail. Three days later we took him in with toes just like that. They looked like they would turn to ashes if you touched them.”
Kyle R. said: “I just had a lady with Gangrene on her right hand due to smoking three packs a day for 30 years who looked almost like that.”

Drunken California Man Impales Himself on Fence
In November, crews had to cut away iron bars from a fence to rescue an intoxicated man who had impaled himself on them. He and another man tried to climb over a wall outside of a Hollywood Hills home. One of the men got over the wall OK, but the other man got stuck. According to police, it appears they were just wanting to “get a nice view of the city.”

What our Facebook fans said:
Amy Y. said: “At times, I wonder how some people make it through a 24-hour period alive, day after day?”
Darlene H. said: “Looks like the last episode of Chicago Fire.”
Allen C. said: “Hey, uh, KID! I think I got a little PROBLEM here...”
Ezequiel C. said: “Emergency Services:  Fighting natural selection since 1961.”
Ron K. said: “That's gonna leave a mark! If not for these jobs, it would be kinda boring. Just saying.”

What do you think was the most unusual EMS-related news story of 2012? Tell us in the comments!


Wisconsin City Council Turns Over EMS to Hospital

Vote in Platteville transfers control of EMS to Southwest health Center.

21 People Rescued From Drifting Houseboat in Texas

Austin-Travis County EMS said none of the occupants were injured.

Austin-Travis County EMS Honored with Mission: Lifeline Gold Award

AHA award recognizes successful implementation of quality improvement measures.

Construction Worker injured in fall at Maine Water Treatment Plant

Firefighters had to cut through reinforcing bar to access the patient.

Wisconsin Council Votes on Ambulance Service Change

Vote could move responsibility of EMS delivery to area hospital.

Ohio Law Would Allow EMTs to Treat Injured Animals

Proposed bill would not allow people to call 911 for pets.

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