Severe pain can trigger suicide in hospital ERs



Of the 827 in-hospital suicides reported to the commission since 1995, almost 25 percent occurred in non-psychiatric settings, such as emergency rooms, cancer and intensive-care units and long-term care hospitals, the commission noted. The methods most often used were hanging, suffocation, intentional drug overdose and strangulation.

Because the suicides are reported voluntarily, there's no way to know how common the act is, Wise said. But a hospital in which a suicide occurs examines the circumstances to determine potential causes, "and that's probably more important than the actual prevalence, as it can help to prevent future occurrences," he said.


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