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March 11, 1968

A Shot in the Dark

Author Affiliations

Santa Rosa, Calif

JAMA. 1968;203(11):989. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140110081026

To the Editor:—  Nature's bony defenses saved the life of a woman who attempted suicide by shooting herself through the open mouth. She was at once relieved of the cause of her depression.

Report of a Case:—  This 35-year-old woman, in a burst of despondency over ill health, attempted suicide by shooting herself through the open mouth with a. 22-caliber revolver. Her purpose was not immediately accomplished. She regretted her impulse. X-ray films (Fig 1 and 2), taken immediately, revealed the bullet in the right sphenoid sinus, flattened against the sinus roof.The following morning with the patient under local anesthesia, I took down the anterior sinus wall and encountered a cavity full of pus. The bullet was located, firmly embedded in the roof. I grasped it with appropriate forceps and with a rocking motion, freed and removed it. It came out with a sucking sound as if one were pulling