Over 300 People Wake Up During Surgery Each Year

It’s probably a rare thing for patients going into surgery to feel confident that they’ll come out unharmed. After all, they’re about to be cut up; their body invaded. Undoubtedly, topping the list of preoperative anxieties is the fear that they won’t be anesthetized enough, waking up mid-surgery, with their bodies open, unable to move and feeling everything. 

As it turns out, renditions of these incidents, called anesthesia awareness, occur in about 300 people per year in the UK and Ireland.

All of these patients were given general anesthesia, a cocktail of intravenous drugs with several purposes: They cause amnesia, pain relief, muscle paralysis, and sedation. Anesthesia awareness occurs when one of these drugs isn’t administered in as strong a dose as the others. 

Interested in seeing just how often it occurs, researchers from the UK’s Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Association of Anaesthetists looked into occurrences throughout the UK and Ireland, and their psychological effects on patients. More