Annually, as many as 40,000 people wake up during surgery and other medical procedures while under anesthesia. Of the patients who wake up, half of them can hear and recognize what is happening, but are unable to communicate, and a third of them can actually feel the pain of the procedure.

As you can imagine, this experience, referred to as Anesthesia Awareness, is incredibly traumatizing for the patient, and often results in mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and insomnia. Why does Anesthesia Awareness happen, and what can you do to prevent it?

Anesthesia Awareness is caused by:

  • Inadequate Dosages of Anesthesia: Errors in dosage, late administration of anesthesia, failure to recognize signs of Anesthesia Awareness, and therefore, failing to correct the problem, lighter dosage for the patient’s safety
  • Resistance to Anesthesia: Obesity, anxiety, young age, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, repeated exposure to anesthetics
  • Equipment Malfunctions:  Breathing system malfunctions and disconnections, vaporizer malfunctions, machines providing inadequate dosages

What can you do to keep yourself safe from Anesthesia Awareness?

If you must have surgery, make sure you talk to your anesthetic provider. Discuss the various options for anesthesia, so that you can select the best and safest option for you.

Always be honest and open with your doctors, especially the doctor who will be making decisions regarding your anesthesia.  He or she needs to know your complete medical history to make informed decisions about your anesthetics. You may also have preexisting risk factors for anesthesia resistance.

Waking up during surgery is one of the most frightening experiences.  If you or someone you love suffered from Anesthesia Awareness, and experienced emotional distress as a result, you need to call me at 1 (877) 944-4373 to discuss your experience.

As your Medical Malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.


Article Name
Awake During Surgery: How to Prevent Anesthesia Awareness
Imagine how frightening it would be to wake up during surgery. Sadly, anesthesia awareness occurs nearly 40,000 times per year! Thousands of patients are left with severe emotional trauma as a result of anesthesia awareness. If you or a family member experienced anesthesia awareness resulting in anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress or other emotional issues, it is important to discuss your case with an experience malpractice attorney.
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