Medical Myths on TV


Happy Wednesday! You are officially halfway through the week. To help you get through the week we pieced together a fun post about Medical Myths on TV.

Have you ever watched a TV show about doctors and healthcare workers?

Ever wondered or noticed that there are some outrageous myths in the plot lines? Today we put together a list of our favourite medical myths shown on TV.

Let us know what you think in the comments!


Image courtesy of Quora

The “Defibrillator” myth

Defibrillation is the process of using electrical stimulation to reestablish the normal rhythm of the heart. Doctors on TV dramas usually place defibrillator paddles in the chest area in a position parallel to each other. This is wrong. In reality the first paddle is placed on the right chest just below the clavicle while the second one is placed just below the pectoral muscles of the left chest. You also may be familiar with doctors rubbing the defibrillator paddles together. This is all for television, as rubbing them together would actually only ruin the whole device.

Image courtesy of iDisciple

The “Flat line” myth

Everyone knows about the flat line you see on the patient’s cardiac monitor on tv. This usually leads to the scene where doctors come in with the defibrillator and shock the patient to save them. But in reality, that is not exactly the case. Asystole is not “perfectly flat” when you see it on the cardiac monitor. You can call it “flat line” but the real “asystole” has certain waves in it. Therefore applying electrical shocks during asystolic episodes could bring more harm to the patient and can also decrease their chance for survival.

Image courtesy of FieldHerpForum

The “Snake bite” myth

In many action movies you will see the hero suck the venom out of someone’s snake bite. Do not do this in real life. The venom from the snake can travel within your bloodstream and reach several parts of your body in a matter of seconds. So if you are to suck the blood out from a bitten victim you might put yourself in greater peril as the area under your tongue is highly vascular or rich in blood supply. If you attempt this you will just turn yourself into someone requiring medical help.

Image courtesy of Daily Mail

The “Pulling out knife” myth

Several scenes in movies have us thinking that it’s alright to remove a sharp object deeply buried in our wounds. This is NOT the right move. You will further aggravate the bleeding, cause massive hemorrhage in the wounds, and potentially just kill yourself in the process.

Image courtesy of Inside My Mind

The “Superman Doctor” myth

In medical TV dramas such “Grey’s Anatomy”, doctors seem to be responsible for almost every single task regarding patient care. The writers frame it like the other health care professionals like nurses, medical technologists, and radiologic technologists are completely out of the picture. In reality, there are up to 16 or more professionals working in collaboration with one another to give every patient that quality of care he rightfully deserves. No doctor can “do it all”.

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