Vital Signs: Confusion That Comes and Goes

An old Vital Signs column helps solve the mystery of a man who slipped into and out of strange altered states.

By Tony Dajer|Wednesday, August 03, 2011
I sensed a commotion rippling across the emergency room. near the entrance, a man sporting a surgical mask and pajamas was pacing like a tethered ferret. It was 2 a.m., but as a rule most patients don’t wear their PJ’s to the ER. Something was strange about this one. Heading over, I watched as Claudia, the intake nurse, tried to coax him into the triage chair. He sat for a moment, stood up, then plopped back down.“I need to see your expert,” he spat out. “I have to do this quickly.”“Do what, sir...

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