Dr. David A. Kumpe: This young man had been mentally depressed several times, before being admitted with reactive depression to another hospital. He had attempted suicide by swallowing "two double-handfuls" of glucose-test (Clinitest) tablets for urine. About forty minutes later he vomited, and gastric lavage was performed. He then attempted suicide again by jumping from a window, fell three stories and sustained a fracture of the third lumbar vertebral body. Gastric hemorrhage and intestinal ileus ensued which were treated with 1,000 cc whole-blood transfusion and nasogastric suction. Seven days after these suicide attempts, he was transferred to the Massachusetts General Hospital.
On auscultation, moist rales were heard at the left lung base. There was moderate tenderness over the midlumbar region of the spine, but the results of physical examination were otherwise unremarkable. Reaction of the guaiac test on the stool was 2+. Temperature was 101.2 F (38.4 C, but vital