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May 5, 1978

Munchausen Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Deaconess Hospital of Buffalo Buffalo, NY

JAMA. 1978;239(18):1848. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280450020014

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To the Editor.—  This letter is a further warning to the medical profession that a traveling patient reported in the past (231:27, 1975; 238:1248,1977) continues to seek inappropriate treatment through the nation's hospitals.A neatly dressed 51-year-old black man with a French accent came to the emergency room stating that he has had narcolepsy since birth and needs a short supply of dextroamphetamine sulfate (Dexedrine) to tide him over. He specifically requested 12 tablets. Allergy was claimed to pentazocine, morphine, and phenothiazines.He claimed to reside in Spartanburg, SC, and to be in Buffalo, NY, as a nuclear engineer working on a plutonium project.On physical examination the blood pressure was 140/96 mm Hg. Numerous scars were present over the entire body and included a left craniotomy scar, a midline sternotomy scar, a left flank nephrectomy scar, and numerous abdominal incisions. Several cruciate cutdown scars were also present.The following