What's new this month in BMJ JournalsBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7444.856 (Published 08 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:856
- Harvey Marcovitch, BMJ syndication editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Adults can be victims of Munchausen syndrome by proxy
Australian investigators report that a 71 year old man with a 16 year history of recurrent episodes of stupor and coma often required intubation and ventilation before he spontaneously recovered over 12-36 hours. The episodes were usually provoked by stressful events. Extensive investigation at several hospitals was unhelpful, but after a rapid response to intravenous flumazenil he was diagnosed as having “endogenous endozepine-4 stupor.” Seven years later his wife confessed to surreptitiously giving lorazepam to her mother after a stroke. She then admitted to having periodically laced her husband's food and drink with oxazepam and lorazepam. The doctors admitted that they were confounded by a diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome by proxy in the wife of a pleasant elderly country gentleman.