Every so often a patient undergoing an operation will be awake because their anaesthetic has not taken effect properly. This is usually because the dose that they have been given is not adequate to keep them asleep for the duration of the procedure. If this is something you have experienced you may be entitled to make an anaesthesia awareness claim for compensation.
With anaesthesia awareness the patient becomes aware of what is going on during their medical procedure. They can sometimes feel the pain of the surgery they are having, yet are unable to move or communicate with anyone in the room. This is because their mind has become active, but the muscle relaxants in the anaesthetic are preventing them from moving any part of their body.
Understandably, people who go through anaesthesia awareness may experience inner panic of extreme intensity. Future consequences of this may be that they develop long-term psychological problems including post-traumatic stress disorder.
How Common is Anaesthesia Awareness?
It is very rare that a patient will experience anaesthesia awareness, and in the vast majority of cases the correct dosage of anaesthetic is administered to the patient. However, statistics show that approximately 0.1-0.2% of those who undergo surgery which uses anaesthetic suffer from awareness. This equates to 1 or 2 people in every 1000 that undergo serious hospital operations.
Not all people experience the same symptoms with anaesthesia awareness and the effects for some are more severe than for others. In less serious cases a victim may just the hear conversations of those in the room in the distance. In circumstances that are more brutal, they may feel the routine of surgery being performed on them, causing tremendous pain and inner panic.
Figures show that:
- 42% of anaesthesia awareness victims feel the pain of surgery
- 94% experience some form of inner panic as they realise what is happening
- 70% of victims develop some form of psychological problem as a result
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common outcome of anaesthesia awareness, as are flashbacks, nightmares and insomnia. Some may even have suicidal thoughts.
Making an Anaesthesia Awareness Claim following Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is an overwhelming factor in anaesthesia awareness claim cases. It is often clear that the anaesthetist has not received the correct training into administering the correct dosage, or a patient has not been monitored properly to prevent such an incident from occurring. In other cases the anaesthetic machine may not have been maintained adequately, meaning the right quantity is not being delivered to the patient, which could cause an early exit from their sleep.
If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence after experiencing anaesthesia awareness and wish to make a compensation claim then call Amanda Cunliffe Solicitors today for professional advice.
Call 0800 2800 976 or 01625 667 166, from mobiles, or contact us now at Amanda Cunliffe Solicitors and talk to one of our team about your anaesthesia awareness claim.