Skip to main content

Waking up During Surgery Prevention

  • Published: 2009-04-02 (Revised/Updated 2010-06-30) : Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine.
  • Synopsis: Consciousness during general anaesthesia is an extremely distressing condition leading to post-operative psychological trauma

Main Document

Michael Avidan, George Mashour and David Glick highlight the serious issue of awareness during anaesthesia in a recent review published by F1000 Medicine Reports.

Consciousness during general anaesthesia is an extremely distressing condition leading to post-operative psychological trauma and contributes towards patients' fear of surgery. Dr Avidan, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine and a leading authority on Anaesthesia and Pain Management, writes that intra-operative awareness with subsequent recall is surprisingly common, affecting around 1 in 500 surgical cases. These appear to be mostly preventable.

There are currently a number of candidate awareness monitors available to anaesthesiologists and theater staff, but attention has focused on the bispectral index (BIS) monitor, which is used widely in operating rooms and intensive care units around the world. However, it is not clear that the reduction in awareness reported with BIS monitors is attributable predominantly to the technology itself. Controversially, recent research suggests that previous cases of awareness with explicit recall might have been prevented by implementing a simple 'increased vigilance' protocol. Such a protocol would cost less and be less prone to machine malfunction.

Large, prospective randomized trials are currently underway to evaluate effective awareness monitoring technologies, with the aim of ultimately improving intra-operative patient care. Avidan says, "Cost effective interventions that increase vigilance should be implemented to decrease the likelihood of this complication."



Information from our Medical Research: News & Information section - (Full List).

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





  1. New Peer-reviewed Journal 'Autism in Adulthood' Launching in 2019
  2. People Want to Live Longer - But Only If in Good Health
  3. Canada's Aging Population Signals Need for More Inclusive, Accessible Transportation System
  4. Britain's Unproductive Disabled: A Continuing Moral Panic?

Citation



Disclaimer: Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.