Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
surgery via Shutterstock
# accidental awareness
Report finds 11 Irish patients woke up during surgery
Overall the study found one in 19,000 patients say they’ve woken up during surgery.

A NEW STUDY has found that 11 Irish patients were aware during surgery last year.

The major study of Britain and Ireland was carried out by The Royal College of Anesthetists.

This was the largest study carried out on this topic and it found 300 cases of accidental awareness during general anaesthesia, which can lead to severe stress and even long term psychological harm.

Doctor Ellen O’Sullivan is President of the College of Anaesthesia. She said it’s more likely to happen to women getting a c-section and people undergoing cardiac surgery.

Some former patients surveyed said they couldn’t speak or move and were unable to let medical staff know. Speaking on RTÉs Morning Ireland, Dr O’Sullivan, said this is rare:

A small number of patients wake during surgery and are unable to move or call out but they can feel the pain and this is very distressing for them.

“We learnt a lot from this study – patients do worry about accidental awareness, it’s the second most asked question before surgery.”

However O’Sullivan added that this study means a checklist can now be established so potential errors with anesthetics can be identified and dealt with.

Overall one in 19,000 patients say they’ve woken up during surgery.

The results of the research will be presented in a meeting in Dublin today.

Read: 10,000 Irish women could be victims of faulty PIP implants: lawyers>