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The Anatomy of a Delirium
ROBERT M. MORSE; EDWARD M. LITIN
Am J Psychiatry 1971;128:111-116.
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Consultant, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. 55901

Emeritus Member of the Psychiatric Section, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. 55901

1972, American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The authors describe characteristics of postoperative delirium observed in 60 patients. The typical delirious patient was over 60, had undergone cardiac or orthopedic surgery, became delirious on the third postoperative day and recovered by the seventh, was as likely to be retarded and apathetic as restless and fearful, and had a 50 percent chance of minor cognitive impairment or dismissal. The patient's age and length of illness affected his prognosis; type of treatment did not.

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