Failure of a patient to awaken promptly after use of general anesthesia may be due to various causes, including medication-related effects, neurologic insults, or metabolic disturbances. Herein we describe a 49year-old woman with a history of depression, for which she was receiving treatment, who did not awaken promptly after use of general anesthesia for ethmoidectomy. Results of neurologic examinations were normal, as were laboratory tests and radiologie studies. Six hours after completion of the operation, the patient spontaneously awakened. We hypothesize that she underwent a transient, self-limited period of dissociation related to unresolved grief due to the recent death of a family member.
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