Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How Thinking is Not Like Dancing

You cannot dance when you are paralyzed by neuromuscular blockade, but you still can think:
Complete neuromuscular block caused no observable impairment of consciousness, sensation, memory, or the ability to think and make decisions. Objective evidence supported this assertion, as subjects responded promptly to questions. When the experimenter misunderstood their answers, subjects recognized this and made a correction. Subjects successfully used a questionnaire with many branching points to communicate their needs. Subjects also accurately recalled specific events that occurred in the room while they were paralyzed. This unimpaired mental function is consistent with the reports of previous investigators. (Topulos, Lansing, & Banzett, 1993, p. 373)

Topulos, G., Lansing, R., & Banzett, R. (1993). The Experience of Complete Neuromuscular Blockade in Awake Humans. Survey of Anesthesiology, 38(03), 133.

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