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May 25, 1979

A Brief Case Report

Author Affiliations

Piedmont Hospital Atlanta

JAMA. 1979;241(21):2265. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290470017016

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To the Editor.—  An 88-year-old man, depressed because of recent illness, shot himself four times in the head at point-blank range with a 32 caliber revolver. Powder burns were noted at the entry wounds that were located above the right and left ears and the vertex (two shots) of the scalp. The bullets were all flattened and located several centimeters beyond the entry site (Fig 1,2).In the emergency room approximately 1 1/2 hours later, he was alert and fully conscious. There was slight external bleeding and moderate hematoma formation in the scalp. A skull roentgenogram (Fig 3) showed all bullets to be grouped over the upper parietal bone. The skull was not penetrated, and no fracture was present. The bullets were easily removed. The patient subsequently made an excellent physical and mental improvement.This report is unique in the remarkably minor injury resulting from a powerful weapon. Perhaps the age