The prospect of undergoing surgery is terrifying for many patients. While some fear the prospect of never waking up afterwards, some also harbor a very real fear of waking up too soon, while the surgery is still ongoing. While this sort of anesthesia error is not one of the most common types of medical malpractice, when it does happen it is truly horrifying. Fortunately, a new technology developed in Canada may one day almost eliminate these errors and make anesthesia much more personalized to the patient, and thus, more effective.
Do Patients Actually Wake up During Surgeries?
Patients do currently actually wake up during surgeries. Sometimes this is because of a patient’s unique body and there is nothing that an anesthesiologist could have done differently to prevent it from happening. But other times it is due to an anesthesiologist’s having done something wrong, having made an improper calculation, or having just not paid close enough attention to the patient. When this happens it is called “accidental awareness during general anesthesia” and it can lead to severe psychological trauma and even cause post-traumatic stress disorder.