GPs share Halloween tales of the unexpected

A patient appearing to come back from the dead and spooky comments from patients are among general practice horror stories revealed by medico-legal experts in the run-up to Halloween.

Halloween: GPs share scary stories (Photo: Toby Ord)

In a series of real-life tales compiled  by the Medical Defence Union (MDU), one GP certifying a death at a patient’s home picked up strange noises when examining the deceased person with a stethoscope.

The patient’s arm then appeared to be moving, until two grey ferrets darted out of his shirt sleeve, leaving the terrified GP screaming as she leapt away from the body.

An SHO whose grandfather had recently died was left unnerved when sent to take blood from a pale eight-year-old girl. As the SHO arrived, the girl sat up in bed and said: ‘Your granddad told me you were coming.’

Shocking GP tales

The SHO said she only recovered from the shock after realising the girl was referring to the consultant who had visited just before.

Another child raised eyebrows after asking a GP checking for a chest infection: ‘If I stuck my hand through your ribs and pulled out your heart, how long would it keep beating?’

MDU head of advisory services Dr Caroline Fryar said situations such as GMC investigations, patient complaints and missed diagnoses were all situations likely to ‘give doctors a fright’.

She urged doctors to seek advice early from medico-legal experts to avoid a ‘horror story’.

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