House, M.D.
House, M.D. mistake picture

Kids - S1-E19

Factual error: When House is looking over his whiteboard of symptoms for the swimming patient, the symptom "Intercranial Hemorrhage" is shown on the board. However, this is an error. The correct term is "Intracranial Hemorrhage." Anything inside the head is referred to as "intra" not "inter." This is a common mistake for laypeople, however the highly trained and knowledgeable Dr. House should not have made that error. (00:31:25)

Maternity - S1-E4

Factual error: House's team listed the potential offending organisms of the infection as "MRSA, H. Flu, VRE, and pseudomonas." House then suggests Vancomycin and Aztreonam. Vancomycin only covers gram (+) organisms and Aztreonam only covers gram (-) organisms. VRE is a gram (+) organism, thus it would not be covered by Aztreonam. VRE stands for vancomycin resistant enterococcus, thus it would not be covered by Vancomycin either. House's team therefore failed to cover for an offending organism that could have caused the infection during their initial differential. (00:09:10)

Role Model - S1-E17

Factual error: House and Foreman tell the Senator that he has toxoplasmosis, which is caused by a fungus. Toxoplasmosis is actually caused by a protozoan parasite.

Occam's Razor - S1-E3

Factual error: House is playing 'Metroid: Zero Mission' on his Gameboy at various times. The Metroid series does not feature space monkeys, nor are there distinct levels. The sounds coming from the game in the show do not match it in real life, and Samus morphing into a ball is most definitely not a failure state.

Histories - S1-E10

Factual error: When going into anaphylactic shock, the patient is given epinephrine in her forearm. Epi would be given into her lateral thigh, or deltoid muscle. The forearm would be the least ideal place for an IM injection.

Living the Dream - S4-E14

Factual error: In episode 414, "Living the Dream," the patient Evan is given a nerve function test. We see Kutner and Taub performing the test by puncturing Evan's legs with needles. Modern nerve function tests actually rely on electrical impulses from a small computerized device, with no needles necessary.

You Don't Want to Know - S4-E8

Factual error: Dr. House argues that the symptoms of the patient (DIC, bleeding, and multisystem failure) can be explained by the fact that they gave him the wrong type of blood (type AB). House says the reason they could make such a mistake is that they don't test blood type, they test antibodies. Dr. Foreman responds it's because the human body only makes those antibodies when you have that type of blood. This part is incorrect. In fact, it's the exact opposite. You only produce antibodies against the antigens that you DO not have. If you did, your immune system would attack your own red blood cells (RBCs), which would cause autoimmune hemolytic anemia (aiha). For example, if your blood type is A, you make antibody B and vice versa. A person with blood type AB has A and B antigens on the RBCs, but does not produce antibodies A or B and is therefore a universal recipient. Ironically, the latter is also mentioned by Dr. Wilson in a conversation with House earlier in the episode when he says "Of course you're type AB - universal recipient. You take from everybody." House then says that the patient has blood type A, but he's making an extra antibody of type B, which led them to believe he has blood type AB and therefore give him type AB blood. House then deduces that this caused the immunologic reaction, leading to the diagnosis, SLE (lupus), which can cause acquired aiha. It's correct that giving type AB blood to a person with blood type A would cause this, but the first part is wrong. If he is type A, he is supposed to make antibody B, not antibody A, so if he were making an extra antibody, it would be antibody A, not antibody B. (00:38:20)

Hamza Mughal

Instant Karma - S6-E4

Factual error: During the differential, Chase suggests the underlying condition is a systemic infection. House says this is unlikely since the patient received IV antibiotics the previous week. However, the doctor in the intro scene remarks that he thought the patient had C. Diff, which is treated with oral vancomycin, not IV. Oral vancomycin has next to no oral absorption, and would not treat a systemic infection. Moreover, even if vancomycin was orally absorbed, it would only treat infections caused by gram positive organisms and not other infections caused by gram negative organisms. (00:12:30)

Autopsy - S2-E2

Factual error: When Andie is going in for her MRI, Chase starts the machine with Andie's steel IV pole in the room. No doctor would ever do that considering the damage that would be done to machine and patient. (00:05:45)

Greg Dwyer

One Day, One Room - S3-E12

Factual error: A kid is being taken to surgery to remove a magnet he swallowed because it may be stuck in his upper intestine. House diagnoses that the magnet is already in the lower intestine by taking a scalpel and showing that it's magnetically attracted to the lower abdomen. Surgical scalpels are made of high grade stainless steel and are not attracted by magnets.

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Suggested correction: Some scalpel blades are made out of high carbon steel or just tempered steel. However, it depends on the alloy content of stainless steel. Some stainless steels aren't made with nickel can still be magnetic.


It's A Wonderful Lie - S4-E10

Factual error: House diagnoses contagious ecthyma in a patient exposed to a donkey. This zoonosis is however NOT transmitted by donkeys. "Contagious ecthyma virus causes papillomatous lesions on lips and mouth, and sometimes on the interdigital areas of primarily young sheep and goats. The hosts of contagious ecthyma virus are sheep, goats, alpacas, chamois, Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, Doll sheep, steenbok, wild thar, dog, camel, reindeer, musk ox, and man." (00:27:07 - 00:27:40)

Show generally

Factual error: There are several episodes where doctors continue to defibrillate a patient even after s/he flatlines. A flatline (asystole, where there is no electrical activity in the heart) cannot be corrected by defibrillation, which stops a heart that's in an abnormal rhythm and gives it a chance to start in a normal one (the heart has already stopped when there is a flatline).

Show generally

Factual error: In an episode with a severely overweight patient who is thought to have diabetes, it is discovered he instead has Chagas disease. Cameron then informs the patient that he acquired this illness from his food when, in fact, Chagas disease is a protozoan that is spread through the bite of the triatomine bug.

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Suggested correction: While the main vector for the infection is through the triatomine bug, Trypanosoma cruzi (the parasitic organism that causes the disease) can be transmitted through food, and thus Chagas was caused by the food the patient ate. It should also be noted that Trypanosoma cruzi is not transmitted by the bite of the triatomine bug, but rather through its feces, and it's only spreads once the feces enters the blood stream (which it can do through a bite site or scratching an open wound).


You Don't Want to Know - S4-E8

Factual error: Amber triggers a fire alarm by heating the sprinkler with her lighter. Unfortunately that fire sprinkler doesn't detect heat (or smoke). The sensor is located between the ceiling lamps, about two meters from the fire sprinkler. (00:09:00)

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Suggested correction: Heat applied to the sprinkler would cause it to activate and spray water. All modern fire systems will detect this water pressure drop and activate the alarm.

Show generally

Factual error: Every time there is a patient given a non-rebreather O2 mask, the bag is uninflated. The correct way of administering O2 through a NRB is to inflate the bag first, which would be the reservoir for the O2; a common mistake in many Hollywood medical shows.

Son of Coma Guy - S3-E7

Factual error: House makes a person have a seizure by switching the light on and off. This would not cause a person to have seizure as it takes more flickering than that to trigger a seizure in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

The Jerk - S3-E23

Factual error: The boy plays a game of chess at a tournament against some other person. The camera only shows a few pictures of the board, however, when the boy says "goodbye" and the game ends, due to an allegedly checkmate, the following is shown: the opponents king is on f7, with his own figures all around but e8 and h7-9 being free. On h5 is the boy's rook which attacks the h7, h8 and h9 fields. Now the boy moves his bishop to h6, thus attacks f7 (where the king is) and e8 (the only free spot but h6-8). Now of course h6, f7 and e8 are not available to the king anymore, but as the bishop blocks the rooks attack on the h-line, the king now has the fields h7 and h8 to go to. Thus it's by no means "checkmate." (00:01:00)

David Zweistein

Runaways - S8-E10

Factual error: When Dr. House is in the treatment room with a patient that has a gunshot wound to his foot, he removes a bloody dressing and treats the area without wearing gloves. No health professional would do this.

Role Model - S1-E17

Factual error: House and Foreman tell the Senator that he has toxoplasmosis, which is caused by a fungus. Toxoplasmosis is actually caused by a protozoan parasite.

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Humpty Dumpty - S2-E3

Dr. Foreman: You really want to screw Whitey? Be one of the few black men to live long enough to collect social security. Take the medicine.

More quotes from House, M.D.

Trivia: Bryan Singer was looking for an American actor to play House and when he saw Hugh Laurie's audition tape said that he had found his American actor. Hugh Laurie is in fact British.

More trivia for House, M.D.

Whatever It Takes - S4-E6

Question: In this episode, Cuddy gives House crap about lying that he was working for the CIA. Exactly how did a CIA helicopter land on the hospital roof, and the hospital's dean not notice it?

Answer: She would have No Reason to know it belonged to the CIA. If she did know he went off in the helicopter, all she would know is that it wasn't an ambulance helicopter.

Greg Dwyer

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