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January 1988

Pain Insensitivity in Schizophrenic Patients: A Surgical Dilemma

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Dr Bickerstaff), Internal Medicine (Dr Leggett), and Psychiatry (Dr Cheah), American Lake Veterans Administration Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash; and Department of Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash (Dr Harris).

Arch Surg. 1988;123(1):49-51. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400250059010

• Some schizophrenic patients have decreased pain perception while others have decreased pain expression. These factors frequently lead to difficulties in the diagnosis of acute intra-abdominal surgical emergencies. Increasingly large numbers of schizophrenic patients are being cared for in the community. It is therefore imperative that surgeons be acutely aware of the diagnostic dilemmas presented by this group of patients so that misdiagnosis is avoided and appropriate surgical therapy is instituted in a timely manner.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:49-51)

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