January 6, 1975

Major Munchausen

Author Affiliations

Fort Collins, Colo

JAMA. 1975;231(1):22. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240130016004

To the Editor.—  This letter should alert physicians to another traveling Munchausen syndrome patient who gives a striking history. He is a cultured, intelligent, black man who gives his age as 47, his home as Boston, and has stated variously that he was a SAC pilot, a counterintelligence agent, shot down over Hanoi, etc. He entered Poudre Valley Memorial Hospital, Sept 26, 1974, giving a history of genitourinary pain and bleeding. An intravenous pyelogram visualized the right kidney, and the left kidney was absent. The patient received meperidine, 75 mg, three times and pentazocine 13 times. Hematuria was evidenced except when the patient was awakened in the middle of the night for a fresh specimen, which was clear. Nurses described him as restless and furtive particularly when urine was collected. When the suspicion of his attending physician was aroused, the patient suddenly checked out of the hospital (leaving a bill