Anesthesia Awareness More Common Than Previously Believed

What is Anesthesia Awareness, also known as Unintended Awareness? It is when a patient wakes up during surgery. When this happens, the patient experiences extreme pain but cannot move or cry out. The patient often also remembers parts of the surgery. This can have long-term emotional and psychological effects.

A new study shows that Anesthesia Awareness is more common than experts had previously thought. What can be done about this? From the article:

The position of the anesthesiologists group has been that brain wave monitoring should not be done routinely, but may be helpful for certain patients at high risk of awareness. Widespread use would be very costly.

Patients should talk to their doctors to determine their risk, if any, of awareness.

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