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November 4, 1988

Crash Crashes Stockbroker

Author Affiliations

Tufts University School of Medicine Boston

Tufts University School of Medicine Boston

JAMA. 1988;260(17):2506. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410170054018

To the Editor.—  National events touch all our lives in different ways. One event caused a delay in diagnosis as an emergency department staff assumed that the physical illness of a patient was a psychological response to the events of the day.

Report of a Case.—  A 32-year-old female stockbroker was brought by rescue to an emergency department when she "stopped talking" at 4 PM on the day of the October 1987 stock market crash. Paramedics had found her to have good skin color and eyes reactive and equal to light. She was lethargic, but oriented and arousable.At the emergency department her vital signs remained stable, with the exception of a slightly increased respiration of 18/min (blood pressure, 116/72 mm Hg; pulse rate, 64 beats per minute; and temperature, 98°F). She was not diaphoretic. She did not respond to verbal stimuli. Psychiatric consultation was requested to evaluate the patient