Anaesthetic Awareness - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claim UK


If you have been injured in the UK by a doctor or an anaesthetist and would like to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about anaesthesia complications or anaesthetic awareness without further obligation, just use the helpline. A medical negligence solicitor who deals exclusively in personal injury claims will speak to you, giving free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal right to receive compensation as a result of injuries caused by medical negligence.

Anaesthesia Complication - Anaesthetic Awareness

General anaesthesia is generally quite safe; however, there are specific complications you need to know about before undergoing general anaesthesia. Even local anaesthesia with sedation has its problems. The risk of long term risks, including death is very small. There is more risk to the procedure you are having than to the surgery anaesthesia complications themselves.

Things that can increase your risk of having complications of anaesthesia include the following conditions:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney, heart or lung damage
  • Drug allergies
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Prior history of anaesthesia reactions

In even more rare situations, in older people or in people who are very sick, there are even more complications of anaesthesia. These include the following:

  • Mental confusion, which is temporary
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

Understanding of Anaesthesia

Approximately 1-2 out of every 1,000 people will wake up briefly during the procedure except they feel no pain. They are simply aware of my surroundings. Very few feel excruciating pain during surgery even though they are under general anaesthesia. Worse yet, they aren’t able to display their pain because they are on paralytic agents that block movement. This can lead to long term psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are several factors that create unintended intraoperative awareness syndrome. The following factors include:

  • Having a cesarean section
  • Having emergency surgery
  • Being depressed
  • Having heart or lung diseases
  • Using certain medications
  • Using alcohol on a daily basis
  • Using a lowered anaesthesia dose than is necessary
  • Problems by the anaesthesiologist who doesn't monitor the patient well or fails to give enough anesthesia.

General anaesthesia allows for relaxation of the muscles of the upper GI tract so the food can get down into the lungs from the oesophagus, causing pneumonia. That's why it is important to follow doctor's orders around not eating or drinking prior to surgery. You should fast around 6-12 hours prior to surgery. In some cases, it is okay to have a sip of coffee a few hours prior to surgery.

Some medications may be taken with a sip of water during the time you should be fasting. Ask your doctor about what to do. In addition, aspirins and anti-inflammatory medications need to be stopped at least one week before the procedure as you can have bleeding complications at the time of surgery. Certain vitamins and herbal remedies like garlic, ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, fish oil and other herbal remedies can adversely affect clotting so talk to your doctor about which herbal supplements are safe to take before and after surgery.

Diabetes can adversely affect surgery. Talk to the doctor about what to do about your diabetic medication just before surgery. You probably shouldn't take oral medication before surgery but you should take your insulin but at a reduced dose. If you have sleep apnea, you should talk to your anaesthetist about monitoring you more carefully during anaesthesia.

Your doctor will want to know the following things about your health before surgery:

  • Your pass medical history
  • Your medications, both prescription medications and over-the-counter medications. Your herbal supplements need to be looked at as well.
  • Allergies
  • Past experiences with medication

Your doctor will use this information to use the best medication possible during your surgical procedure.

During the procedure, the anaesthesiologist gives the anaesthetic medication via an IV line but in some cases, it is given through a mask. Once you're asleep, the tube is inserted in your mouth to protect your airway and to give you enough oxygen. Muscle relaxants are given through the IV so the tube is better given without spam of the muscles. In some cases, the breathing tube isn't necessary so that you have a lesser chance of having a sore throat after surgery.

Anaesthetic Awareness - no win no fee* Solicitors

Our anaesthetic awareness solicitors operate using the no win no fee* scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your medical negligence claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here