Anesthesia Awareness And Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Mistakes

Patients can experience severe pain, may experience post-traumatic stress disorder, brain damage, other injuries, or death when an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist are negligent and make a mistake during surgery.  Every day in hospitals and other medical facilities, anesthesia is administered routinely.  Though the odds are small, there are thousands of people every year who experience anesthesia awareness.

Anesthesia awareness is a condition where the patient is awake during the surgery, is experiencing pain, can hear the conversations between the doctors, but is unable to move or communicate.  Prior to most surgeries that involve general anesthetic, patients are given a paralyzing drug to keep them from moving during the surgery.  Due to this, if the anesthesia is not working then they cannot alert the doctors.

Persons who experience anesthesia awareness can experience a range of effects from complete consciousness during the surgery with feelings of pain and detailed memories, to only a vague recollection of pain, pressure, difficulty breathing or the conversations that occurred during the surgery.

Victims of anesthesia awareness may experience post-traumatic stress disorder.  Many can never overcome the trauma.  They may have nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, paranoia and other symptoms that are associated with experiencing a traumatic event.

By exercising the proper standards of medical care, the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist can help to avoid the occurrence of anesthesia awareness.  The mistakes that can result in anesthesia awareness include:

  • Failure to refill the vaporizers on the anesthetic machine,
  • Inadequate drug dosing,
  • Insufficient training,
  • Machine misuse or malfunction,
  • Poor monitoring, and/or
  • Unfamiliarity with the techniques used.

Overall, anesthesia awareness experiences are very unusual.  The possibility is remote that a patient will experience anesthesia awareness and patients should not be deterred from undergoing a surgery because of this remote possibility.

However, if you or a loved one has experienced anesthesia awareness, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.  You could be entitled to damages for the suffering you experienced.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at