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Self-inflicted ventricular septal defect
  1. D. G. Leaver*,
  2. R. N. Sharma,
  3. J. S. Glennie
  1. National Heart Hospital, London W.1
  2. Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Lancaster
  3. Victoria Hospital, Blackpool


    A case of attempted suicide is described which is believed to be the first reported example of survival after a self-inflicted penetrating knife wound of the heart. The 12 cm. blade entered the right ventricle and damaged one of the papillary muscles. The ventricular septum was also perforated. At cardiotomy the stab wound in the free wall of the right ventricle was surtured and the papillary muscle repaired. The ventricular septal defect was closed, but a small left-to-right shunt at ventricular level reappeared after operation.

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    • * Present address: Hammersmith Hospital, London W.12.

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