Mikhail Varshavski, DO, who goes by “Doctor Mike” on social media, is a board-certified family medicine physician at the Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey.
In this video, Dr. Mike reacts to some of the situations that would definitely require medical attention in the massive Netflix hit “Squid Game.”
Video contains spoilers and depictions of violence.
Following is a partial transcript (Note that errors are possible):
Varshavski: “Squid Game.” Apparently, there is a lot of medical scenes in it. I watched a few episodes. If you didn’t, spoiler alert. Let’s get started. Peewoop!
Male: Let me see. Poor thing.
Varshavski: I don’t think I have to explain to you why eating someone’s blood is a bad thing. Infection. Disease.
Male: Got a sweet taste to it.
Varshavski: Does he have diabetes? Did he just diagnose him with diabetes? Back in the day, if you had uncontrolled diabetes, your urine would have a fruity odor to it. That’s where diabetes mellitus came from.
Didn’t your mom ever teach you to not get in a car with strangers?
Robotic voice: Stranger danger.
Varshavski: See, I need an anesthesiologist right now because I don’t know what this gas is. I want to know what gas they’re using. If you know, comment down below.
This scene here is really cool, but there is a few improbable factors happening at the same time. How did they all wake up simultaneously at the same exact time if they were given a chemical? Chemicals have different excretion points in different individuals. I’m going to have a certain set of effect. You may have a different set of effect. How do they all wake up uniformly?
Robot voice: Green light. Red light. Player 324, eliminated.
Varshavski: Oh, that’s internal bleeding. Oh, medically, I think you and I have the same understanding of what’s happening. This old man.
Robot voice: Red light.
Varshavski: Why does he have a huge smile on his face watching this? You know what just happened? He tore his ATF, his anterior talo-fibular ligament, just like me. I just got my MRI done. I tore it.
If momentum is carrying you forward and you’re falling, for someone to grab you while they are leaning forward, you just have to be Jack Diesel. There is no way you’re doing it. Especially this guy with his frame, no shot.
Game #1, in “Squid Game,” not compatible with life. Unless you can get past the line, then compatible. Oooh.
Doctor: She’s diabetic.
Varshavski: When a patient’s diabetic, they have poor circulation to their lower extremities and you don’t have white blood cells going to fight the infection in that area. Therefore, you get a worsening infection, a gangrene, which leads to an amputation.
Doctor: She had to be in a lot of pain recently.
Varshavski: That’s not true. Because you’re having your nervous system suffer, you actually might not feel that you have such a bad infection in your lower extremities.
Gi-Hun: Will you be able to treat her for it?
Doctor: In the worst case, she might need to have her feet amputated. Let’s keep her here for now.
Varshavski: Treatment here is IV antibiotics and wound cultures to see if the antibiotics are appropriate.
This is an incredibly painful injury. You have a ton of nerve endings in your fingertips in your hand. That’s why you’re able to do very fine motor control. Two-point discrimination, where if you have two pins touching your fingers, you can tell a difference between them, even though they’re really close together. Getting your hand crushed like that, obviously, very painful. Also, you can’t use your hand again. They would have to be amputated, the rest of it. You can’t just put it back together like you can with a fracture.
Male: You jerk, how’s this? Huh?
Varshavski: That wasn’t a good form on the punch. You don’t want to do one of these wide things. Because I’m boxing lately. Hip kick. Hip kick. Rib kick.
Male: Is it that hard?
Varshavski: Did he die of his … look at his bear hair on me. I mean, he must have done some powerful kicking. The one way you can die in that situation is obviously internal bleeding, but what could be more dangerous is if you kick the rib, and the rib fractured and actually punctured a lung, he then had a pneumothorax with a collapsed lung. Because of that, he wasn’t able to profuse his body, and as a result he died. Again, with the neck cracking. Stop with the neck cracking.
Announcer: I would now like to welcome you all to the third game.
Varshavski: My favorite game.
Announcer: Tug of war.
Varshavski: Tell me you don’t want to be one of those for Halloween. Just tell me. When you’re falling from that height, everything breaks and everything splatters because you’re essentially going from a really fast speed to a complete stop. Incompatible with life.
Male: He is not breathing. Go get that doctor.
Varshavski: Didn’t he just, like, fall down a massive height? Yeah, he is not breathing. Is that a liver? It looks like a liver. How about some ice for that liver? Ideally, when you’re transporting organs that have been harvested for donation, their viability after death varies depending on which organ you’re talking about. The heart, for example, probably the shortest lived one, 4 to 6 hours. Ideally, you want to keep them cold, almost like a refrigerator. This fluid that they are putting the organs in is probably some sort of preservation fluid to help protect the organs from the cold that they’re about to be put into.
Male: I bet I could do it if you teach me a few tricks.
Doctor: Yeah, you think all of this is so simple, huh?
Male: I saw on the news doctors don’t always perform surgeries. Sometimes it’s the office managers or nurses’ aides.
Varshavski: I don’t know if this is supposed to be comedy or not. If you know a surgeon who is allowing their office managers to perform surgeries, call the medical board. Call 911. Call somebody, because that shouldn’t be happening.
Male: We didn’t even get full price because it only had one kidney.
Varshavski: You can live without a kidney. You can actually live without multiple organs: lungs, kidneys, tonsils, appendix, gall bladder, and a few more that I’ll mention in future videos.
Oh Il-nam: My doctor said counting is good, so I don’t get dementia or anything.
Varshavski: The brain and the theory of “if you don’t use it, you lose it” is quite true. Muscles, if you don’t use them, they atrophy. Your brain, you don’t challenge it, you actually start fading. The cow goes moo. By staying active, by keeping social connections, by counting who is around you and doing Sudoku puzzles, that actually keeps you sharper longer. It’s been proven.
Oh Il-nam: Doctor said there is a lump inside of here growing everyday. Brain tumor.
Varshavski: Not all brain tumors are fatal. There are some brain tumors that can be operated on. Obviously, it depends on the type of brain tumor and where in your brain it actually is.
Gi-Hun: What’s going on? You’re burning up.
Oh Il-nam: No, no. It’s fine.
Varshavski: Fever is obviously a sign of infection. A fever, by the way, is a good thing. It’s your survival mechanism. Your immune system works better when you have a fever. Generally speaking, if you’re a healthy person, taking antipyretics — medications that lower your temperature — it’s strictly for your comfort, not for actual benefit.
Gi-Hun: We need to lower your fever.
Varshavski: See, like he wants to lower his fever for comfort. The fever is actually working in his interest to keep him alive. If you lost control over your urination, you’re probably septic. Your altered mental status, your blood pressure is dropping, you can’t get up and walk around.
Gi-Hun: Sir, we have to play now. We got to start right now.
Il-nam: Play what?
Gi-Hun: With our marbles, let’s go.
Varshavski: This is a direct symptom of AMS, altered mental status, feeling out of it and disconnected from reality. I have seen patients say some really terrible things to their own family members even.
Oh, wow. OK. I know what she’s about to do. I also wish she would wrap at least some paper around it, so she’s not ripping sharp glass with her hand. No, just leave it in. Oh, no. This is terrible.
Once you start piercing the bowel, you essentially start having escape of bacteria into the gut. When that happens, you start getting an infection of the entire abdomen. You essentially die, without treatment, of course. I don’t know how she’s going to survive. Like you just got to put pressure and hope for the best at this point.
Male: Take another step and…
Varshavski: He just ate that bullet like a champ. Bam! I hope he is wearing a vest. He just casually popped out the bullet with a knife. That was a fairly close-range shot. That’s going deeper than just superficial that you can just pop it out. Like, that’s going deep into your shoulder. Just, this is so unrealistic.
Mike Varshavski, DO, is a board-certified family physician and social media influencer with more than 17 million subscribers.