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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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." https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-524180-9.50039-X. (00:27:07 - 00:27:40)
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).
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.
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)
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)