300 surgery patients waken during surgery each year

By Gillian Crotty

A new study has revealed that 300 hospital patients in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain, waken during a surgical procedure each year, and that 41 per cent of those suffer long-term psychological harm as a result.

The research was carried out by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland and looked at 3 million operations that took place over one year. Over 300 hospital patients reported being awake to some degree during their surgery, and while experts consider it is rare, they say more needs to be done to prevent it. Caesarean sections are one of the most common operations were patients can wake up, thought to be because of the balance of keeping the woman unconscious while keeping the baby awake.

Patients described experiencing panic, pain or choking after wakening during the surgery, and explained how it affected them for years afterward, with 41 per cent considered to have suffered long-term psychological harm.

Researchers believe an inappropriate balance of medication was to blame, and 17 cases were thought to have resulted from drug errors.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of medical treatment received in Northern Ireland, contact one of the clinical negligence solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt for information or advice by calling 0800 840 9289.

Or to read more information, visit our clinical negligence solicitors website page.