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3 Things You Did Not Know About Anesthesia Awareness


Anesthesia is required for many different surgeries, and the vast majority of the 51 million inpatient procedures conducted in the US every year go off without a hitch. Rarely does a patient ever wake up during a procedure and it is even more uncommon for individuals to remember what transpired during a moment of lucidity. However, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) reports that intraoperative awareness with recall does occur between 1 and 2 times for every 1,000 times a patient is put under general anesthesia. While it may not lead to immediate pain, many individuals suffer serious emotional trauma from anesthesia awareness.

Because you may incur medical bills for counseling and suffer from long-term complications for your mental health, it is important to take legal action. State medical malpractice laws may apply to your situation, and a Miami anesthesia errors attorney can explain the relevant concepts. You can also review the following for a few things you did not know about anesthesia awareness.

  1. Why Anesthesia Awareness Happens: It is good to know that intraoperative awareness is rare, but not so reassuring to learn that it is preventable and only occurs because one of two factors is present:
  • The anesthesia is administered improperly by the anesthesiologist and associated attending staff.
  • The medical equipment used for dosing the medication and monitoring the patient is defective. 
  1. What is NOT Considered Intraoperative Awareness: A patient may become conscious during a surgical procedure for reasons that have nothing to do with anesthesia awareness. It is common for someone to have some recall when going under general anesthesia and emerging from the effects of the medication; this phenomenon occurs because the anesthesia has not yet taken effect or was ceased by staff.

Plus, there are certain situations where a patient should not be completely anesthetized. For a nerve block, spinal procedure, or epidural, health care providers typically mean to avoid deep unconsciousness.

  1. How Challenges Can Impact Your Rights: For a med mal claim based upon anesthesia errors, you need to prove that the physician departed from what is considered generally accepted practices in the field of anesthesiology. You must also establish that this deviation caused you harm, and you should be compensated for your losses. When the case deals with anesthesia awareness, there can be some obstacles:
  • Patients may react differently to the same dose of anesthesia, making it difficult to show how the doctor deviated from the standard of care.
  • Some medications used during surgery can interfere with vital signs that anesthesiologists use for monitoring.
  • Though you may experience agonizing pain or anxiety during the procedure, a surgery that accomplishes its goal will generally be considered a success.

Trust a Florida Anesthesia Errors Lawyer to Protect Your Rights 

If you or a loved one sustained trauma because of intraoperative awareness during surgery, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. We can set up a no-cost case assessment with an anesthesia errors attorney who can provide additional information. Once we review your circumstances, we can advise you on next steps.



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