Tags: surgery | awake

Horror of Waking Up During Surgery

Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 05:13 PM

It’s a surgical patient’s worst nightmare: waking up while under the knife without medical staff realizing. The biggest-ever study of this phenomenon is shedding light on what such an experience feels like and is causing debate about how best to prevent it, The Washington Post reports. 
 
For one year, anesthetists at every hospital in the United Kingdom and Ireland recorded every case where a patient awoke during surgery. The researchers then investigated 300 cases, interviewing the patient and doctors involved.
 
Among the findings, says the study’s lead author, Jaideep Pandit of Oxford University Hospitals, was that pain was not generally the worst part of the experience: It was paralysis.
 
“Pain was something they understood, but very few of us have experienced what it’s like to be paralyzed,” Pandit says. “They thought they had been buried alive.”
 
Most episodes of awareness were brief and happened before or after the surgery took place. But waking still caused distress in more than half of the cases. In addition to paralysis, people reported sensations of pain and choking.

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It's a surgical patient's worst nightmare: waking up while under the knife without medical staff realizing. The biggest-ever study of this phenomenon is shedding light on what such an experience feels like and is causing debate about how best to prevent it.
surgery, awake
174
2014-13-07
Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 05:13 PM
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