October 6, 1975

On Awakening Paralyzed During SurgeryA Syndrome of Traumatic Neurosis

Author Affiliations

From the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and Hospital, New York. Dr. Blacher is now with the Department of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine, and the Department of Psychiatry, Boston Veterans Administration Hospital, Boston.

JAMA. 1975;234(1):67-68. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260140069018

We have observed several cases of a traumatic neurotic syndrome in patients who awakened from light anesthesia while still unable to move. The subsequent symptoms of anxiety and irritability, preoccupation with death, and repetitive nightmares should lead the physician to suspect the condition even though the patient is reluctant to talk about it. A direct explanation of the situation often serves as a dramatic cure.

(JAMA 234:67-68, 1975)