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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

NC Man Saved from Deadly 'Delirium' Condition

•, Jeanna Bryner
Police reports indicated the man was "acting very strange," "agitated," "babbling" and "yelling and sweating profusely," according to a case report published online June 4 in the Journal of Emergency Medicine. Essentially, the man was in a state of what doctors call "excited delirium."
The attending physician at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., found that in addition to delirium, the man was suffering from Long QT syndrome, a heart-rhythm disorder that can cause fast, erratic heartbeats. In some cases the erratic heartbeats persist so long they lead to sudden death, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The man was successfully treated with fluids and sodium bicarbonate for his symptoms.

As such, the police may have saved the man's life, as well as shed some light on a weird phenomenon in which individuals die suddenly after a display of confusion and delirium (and often after being subdued by police, making the headlines). Perhaps some of these deaths are caused by the abnormal heart condition, compounded by excited delirium, Dr. William Bozeman, an emergency medicine physician at Wake Forest Baptist, said in a statement.

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