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Medical Quiz #17-Answers

by Suzanne Daniluk, RN on April 15th, 2013

This performer’s name became linked with his art.  He was a rabbi’s son who also sought to expose fraudulent spiritualists and psychics.  Several days before his death, he experienced abdominal pain after trauma to the area, but ignored his symptoms and carried on with the performance that would be his last.  Afterward, he was taken to the hospital, where he subsequently died.   He received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  1. Who is the famous patient?
  2. What was the cause of death?


Harry HoudiniHoudini, the great escape artist and magician, was born Erick Weisz on March 24in Budapest, Hungary, and raised in Wisconsin. The man who had performed many death-defying stunts died of peritonitis due to a ruptured appendix.

He claimed he could withstand punches to the stomach. One evening, in Houdini’s dressing room before a performance, a young man decided to test that claim by delivering several blows to Houdini’s abdomen before he could brace himself.  Though in severe pain, Houdini went on with the show. Later diagnosed with acute appendicitis, he declined surgery and died on October 31at age 52. He received a posthumous Walk of Fame star on that date in 1975.

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