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Journal Article


Herve C, Gaillard M, Martel S, Huguenard P. Acta Anaesthesiol. Belg. 1984; 35(Suppl): 353-359.


(Copyright © 1984, Acta Medica Belgica)






By serious suicides we mean all suicide attempts in which the wish to die was clearly expressed by the patient. Hospitalization in intensive care is indispensable (lasting 3 days on average, 1 to 34 days in extreme cases). From January 1977 to December 1982, 156 patients, aged 10 to 55, were admitted on the basis of this criterion (i.g. 6 1/2% of all our patients), 60% of them men. The mode of suicide was often violent: voluntary fall: (44 or 28%) 15 dead; hanging: (11 or 7%) 3 dead; fire arms: (48 or 30%) 23 dead; knife wounds: (13 or 7%) 2 dead; drug and/or chemical poisoning: (33 or 23%) 6 dead; others: (7 or 5%) 4 dead. In 34% of the cases (54 cases), death was immediate. For longterm results the follow-up lasts from 6 months to 6 years. Only 12 patients (7 1/2%) had attempted to kill themselves prior to their admission in our service. Out of the 103 patients still alive, 30 (29%) were contacted on the phone, and agreed to answer the questionnaire, whatever their mode of suicide, sex or age. The survey focused on their medico-surgical problems, their socio-professional activities, both previous and subsequent to hospitalization. Whatever the diagnosis at the moment of hospitalization, no disabling after-effects were noticed among the subjects. Only 3 of our patients (2,8%) have made a second attempt, 2 of which have been fatal. The results of this survey show the beneficial action of emergency medical aid and intensive care in the treatment of suicides, which represent a unique event in the patient's life rather than a chronic psychiatric syndrome. In the long term these results preclude further attempts or advice to commit suicide.

Language: en


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