The 7 Most Common (And Painfully Annoying) Medical Mistakes in Movies

nastya_gepp, Pixabay

1. When an object is embedded in the skin…

Don’t pull it out! Don’t! Especially if you may make it to a medical professional in the near future.

stevepb, Pixabay

2. Gunshot wounds

When it comes to gunshot wounds, there are quite a few things that movies get inaccurate:

Hello? It’s me, the exit wound

When someone gets shot in a movie, we immediately know what has happened based on the large volumes of blood gushing out of the entry wound. Yet, exit wounds bleed a hell of a lot more than entry wounds. They’re larger and a lot gorier due to the bits of damaged muscle and skin peeking out of them.

You don’t need to extract the bullet straight away

Movies tend to have this obsession with getting the bullet out of the character’s body. In reality, many gunshot victims still have the bullet or bullet fragments lodged inside them years after the incident.

And anyway, extracting bullets isn’t that easy

It’s the typical makeshift surgery scene: An uncannily hot person in a car or a boat or some other unsanitary environment. This person has been shot. They proceed to dig into the wound (using tools that are definitely not sterile) to find the bullet. They find it and take it out.

HeungSoon, Pixabay

3. Tourniquets

These are used as a last resort, not as standard practice. Luckily, modern movies have mostly stopped using these, but it was used frequently in films about a decade or two ago.

StockSnap, Pixabay

4. Hair and hands, people!

You can’t do an autopsy or a surgery without being covered up.

Amornthep Srina, Pexels

5. Administering medication intravenously

For some reason, movie characters seem to think that stabbing a needle into someone at a 90-degree-angle is a great way to go about administering drugs. Especially in the chest, which even trained medical professionals don’t do unless necessary. If you try to deliver directly to the heart, there are many ways in which you could puncture a lung or an essential blood vessel.

PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

6. Resuscitation

Boy, this one is a doozy.

The speed and ratio of compressions to breaths is waaaaaay off

Yup. In most movies, characters average 3–5 compressions for every 1–2 breaths. In reality, it’s supposed to be about 30 compressions for every 2 breaths.

Resuscitation takes much longer than shown

Most movies featuring a resuscitation scene go something like this:

7. Most mental illness, because let’s be real here

I recently watched a movie called “Unhinged.”



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Ryver Knight

Ryver Knight


Student by day, YA fantasy author by night. Currently fighting a caffeine addiction and daydreams of eating cookies for a living…it’s a struggle. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯