Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!


The ER is not a place anyone wishes to be. Learn how the ER works, common reasons people end up there and some of the bizarre procedures that have taken place.

How Paramedics Work

What do the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and a '70s TV show have in common? They all helped shape the field of paramedicine. Learn more about how these first-responders save lives every day.

How Therapeutic Hypothermia Works

Sudden cardiac death is a huge global killer. Even if you survive such an incident, your neurological outcome isn't so hot. A serious chill could change that.

How Triage Works

You probably know that in an emergency room, patients aren't seen on a "first-come, first-served" basis. There's a system called triage to sort the order so the sickest get priority. Does that mean you'll wait forever if you're not dying?

How ER Nurses Work

Emergency nurses have been around since way before the first emergency room. They not only save lives, but also keep everything running as smoothly as possible. So what does it take to be an ER nurse, and how is the field changing?

5 Most Dangerous Recreational Sports (with the most ER visits)

If your idea of adventure is balancing a snack tray and the remote control, it might be time to get off the couch. But do you know which sports could send you to the ER?

5 Unusual ER Visits

Trips to the emergency room can be scary -- but some can be downright hilarious after the danger has passed. Here are five ER tales for the ages.

10 Objects That Cause the Most ER Visits

Trips to the emergency room are all too common -- but so are the dangers that send you there. Most of the objects on this list are in your home right now. Find out what day-to-day dangers we all face.

10 Jobs that Will Likely Send You to the ER

The idea of visiting the emergency room during your workday probably isn't appealing. But if you've got one of these dangerous jobs, you can almost put money on it.

Can body parts be reattached after accidental amputation?

For decades, freak accidents have caused people to lose limbs because surgeons couldn't save them. So have medical procedures really changed that much?

5 Reasons to Get Your Stomach Pumped

Having your stomach pumped could save your life if you overdose on medication or swallow a poison. But those aren't the only reasons doctors perform this procedure.