Have you ever Googled a perceived illness? It seems like everyone has done it before. And some people seem to rely solely on Google search results instead of seeing a doctor.
In a bizarre case, a man was found dead in his car after he apparently had been inside Grand Valley State University computer lab, searching for symptoms related to his chest pain:
“It appears that he had been using the university’s computer lab and was researching health issues, actually specific symptoms of a health problem, which may give us an indication of what was going on, ” Lt. Patrick Merrill said.
Instead of calling 911, the man who was in his late 30s, according to first responders, figured he’d go into his car and sleep it off, but unfortunately he never woke up:
“Maybe he thought he would just lay down for a minute and feel a little better, but unfortunately he passed away,” Merrill said.
In a recent study, 35-percent of Americans admitted to searching medical symptoms on the internet. Coupled with another study that concluded 25-percent of women misdiagnosed themselves after searching on the internet, this story seems to be the extreme, albeit logical, progression when folks take it upon themselves to play doctor.
“Every person is about four websites away from deciding they have cancer and are going to die,” says Rahul K. Khare, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “There is just so much bad information on the Internet.”
Please don’t let this be you … googling the sniffles seems harmless but if you’re having chest pains, please call the ambulance or friend who can take you to the emergency room.