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March 22, 1976

On Awakening Paralyzed During Surgery

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1976;235(12):1210. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260380013007

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To the Editor.—  I concur, of course, with Dr Blacher when he urges resolution of the trauma of awakening paralyzed during surgery by alerting nurses and physicians to the fact that subsequent nightmares and preoccupation with death can be alleviated by simply informing the patient of what had happened during surgery.I realize that anesthetic agents coupled with curare-like substances, muscle relaxants, and their endotracheal use may make it somewhat difficult for the anesthesiologist to be aware of the fact that the patient had awakened during surgery. I would assume, of course, that they make every effort to keep fully in touch with the degree of consciousness of the patient.But perhaps prevention is a more logical approach than treatment of such a condition. Could not, for example, the anesthesiologist and the surgeon tactfully orient patients prior to surgery that no pain will ever be felt but that the anesthesia