1. Ghost disease: A first-hand, disturbing account of delirium after surgery

    Ghost disease: A first-hand, disturbing account of delirium after surgery

    It is a ghost disease. More than 2 million Americans are haunted every year by postoperative delirium, a strange, creeping state of confusion that the medical profession admits it can neither understand nor cure. It is a problem that affects the brain, divorces its victims from reality and plunges them into a state of derangement — and few doctors can tell them why. Indeed, physicians usually cannot even see the symptoms of this disease until the patient already is in its grip.

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    1. Determining the change in [a person's] mental status is the essential first step.
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