Vital Signs: A Problem of the Heart, Head, or Hands?

A patient with a history of mental illness claims his hands are possessed. Could his delusional behavior indicate a serious medical condition?

By Dena Rifkin|Monday, December 5, 2011
“It must be a full moon—this patient has the weirdest symptom ever!” Kate, my intern, dropped into the chair across from me, looking haggard. We were early into the morning shift at our hospital’s walk-in clinic, where patients drop in with anything from runny noses to previously undiagnosed cancer, and already we were running late. Kate had been in with our second patient for 30 minutes. That was much longer than we had anticipated, since the reason the front-desk clerk had noted for his appoin...

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