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March 22, 1976

On Awakening Paralyzed During Surgery

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

JAMA. 1976;235(12):1210. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260380013005

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To the Editor.—  I have read Dr Blacher's article with great interest. I experienced this phenomenon, I am convinced, last January when I underwent six hours of vascular surgery (endarterectomy of ilia and aorta, repair of renal arterial autograft, and lumbar sympathectomy). I spoke of it only to my surgeon and to my mother. I have had none of the typical night-mares experienced by the individuals quoted in the article, but I have often wondered about it, since I had no idea how long it lasted, what caused it, what it really was. I theorized that it may have happened in the recovery room and that the nurse in charge had not realized that I was awake and so had not started the morphine dripping into my arm.Browsing through JAMA this afternoon, I saw the title of this article and read it carefully. It seemed to me that it