01 Nov The Horror of Anaesthesia Awareness
In the journal of Anaesthesia, researchers surveyed more than three million patients who received general anesthesia and concluded that roughly one in 19,600 patients “accidentally” wake up during surgery. This is referred to as Anaesthesia Awareness, and when retold by the patients who have experienced it, it sounds like a real horror story. Patients described a range of sensations including choking, paralysis, pain, hallucinations, and near-death experiences. Even though the experience is terrible for the patient during the surgery, most of these patients suffer long-term psychological consequences, PTSD, and depression.
Many times, this phenomenon occurs as a result of a medical mistake such as receiving the anesthesia at the wrong time during the surgical process. Even when the patients are awake during their surgery, many times other drugs keep those patients paralyzed and unable to communicate to the surgeons that they are experiencing extreme pain. Carol Weiher founded the Anesthesia Awareness Campaign after her anesthesia failed during an eye operation in 1998 and received a settlement after suing for medical malpractice.
Many physicians believe that this is a rare occurrence and that they are not at fault, however, careful observation and monitoring by the physician should show signs of awareness such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, tears, and dilation of the pupils. In 1996, a device known as a bispectral index monitor was approved by the FDA. This device works by placing a plastic sensor on the patient’s forehead transmitting brain waves to a unit that converts them to a number between zero and 100. When a patient has been given anesthesia, a patient should be kept in the range of 40 to 60. This device is only used in 12% of patients who receive anesthesia, and this device is also not present in 60% of all operating rooms.
Anesthesia awareness is serious, horrifying, has long-term effects, and should be taken more seriously and prevented. For any case to be considered medical malpractice under the law, the claim must have the following characteristics:
- A violation of the standard of care
- An injury was caused by the negligence
- The Injury resulted in Significant damages
When you are suing for medical malpractice cases, Tammy Karas-Griggs is with you every step of the way. After you or a loved one has been injured by another’s negligence, you need an attorney who has been recognized for their professionalism and excellence. You can trust Tammy Karas-Griggs to handle your case with the skill and commitment required during your time of need. You and your loved ones deserve the best representation, and Tammy Karas-Griggs delivers.