'He's Totally Fine': Horror as X-Ray Shows Headache Caused by Nail in Brain

The internet is full of stories about unfortunate emergency room incidents. But one accident is so shocking, that a poster who says they are an ER worker took to Reddit to share a story of how one patient accidentally misfired a nail gun up his nose after it "nestled into his brain."

Shared less than a day ago, the post has already managed to generate a whopping 19,000 upvotes and a total of 1,000 comments (and counting). Going by username u/CarvedilolStitches, the OP posted the story on r/oddlyterrifying. The post has been removed from the subreddit by moderators, but users can still access and comment on the post via a direct link.

The OP has also attached an X-ray of the patient's skull, showing a long nail stuck inside the person's head. In the caption, the Reddit user provided some context to the story by writing the following: "So I work in an ER and a patient was working with a nail gun, heard it misfire, didn't notice anything, and came in hours later with a headache and bloody nose. Needless to say we were all surprised. It shot perfectly in his nostril and nestled into his brain."

Many users took it to the comment section to express their confusion on how the patient "didn't notice anything" when the incident had occurred.

"Wait the nail gun discharged a what, four inch nail up that guy's nose and into his brain and he was unaware?" one user asked, to which the OP replied: "Yeah it was such high velocity he didn't feel anything."

Fortunately, the OP has revealed that "neurosurgery removed [the nail] uneventfully" with "no neurological deficits," suggesting that the patient is alive and well.

In response to worried commenters, the ER worker has also shared that the patient's personality and memory have remained intact: "He's totally fine. Personality, memory, everything."

Meanwhile, another commenter didn't hesitate to throw in a pun, which got a total of 5,400 upvotes: "Nailed it."

Lateral skull X-ray from the side
Stock image: An image showing a lateral skull X-ray. A Reddit post has gone viral after a man had accidently shot a nail in his brain through his nostril. Getty Images/stockdevil

Other users seemed to be concerned about a potential HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violation regarding the fact that the ER worker had shared an image of their patient's X-ray scan.

"Aren't there [HIPAA] laws that would or should prevent a health care 'professional' from discussing, much less posting patient info and images?" one commenter wrote.

"How did OP get clearance to post a medical imaging photo of a patient? Seems like a major HIPAA violation. Just curious," another user wondered.

In the comment section, the OP has responded as follows: "There's no patient identifiers."

A few users seemed to agree with the OP: "[As far as I know] there is no personally identifiable information in the photo, so probably not a HIPAA violation."

The comment section also sparked debate on whether nail-gun-related injuries are a common occurrence: "Everyone I know that owns a nail gun has either shot themselves or had a near miss," one user wrote.

"My father was a woodworker for 60 years, used nail guns daily and never had an issue. I am in my 30s, have been using them since I was 7, no issues," another commenter responded.

Nail Gun-Related Injuries

Carpenter working with a nail gun
An image showing a carpenter working with a nail gun. According to the CDC, nail guns are responsible for an estimated 37,000 ER visits each year. Getty Images/Ivanko_Brnjakovic

According to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nail guns are responsible for roughly 37,000 ER visits per year, among which 68 percent involve workers and 32 percent are average consumers.

The CDC also explained that there are "seven major risk factors that can lead to nail gun injury," including nail ricochet, unintended nail discharge from double fire and bypassing safety mechanisms.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also published a guide to nail gun safety, which explained that nail gun injuries are fairly common: "One study found that 2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experienced a nail gun injury over a four-year period."

"More than half of reported nail gun injuries are to the hand and fingers."

According to OSHA, injuries to the head and neck are significantly less common, and are often of a serious nature.

And some of the complex nail gun-related injuries have reportedly resulted in "paralysis, blindness, brain damage, bone fractures, and death."

But as rare as they come, miraculous survivals do happen, even after the most terrifying incidents.

Newsweek has reached out to u/CarvedilolStitches for comment.