did you know that in very rare cases a patient, perhaps one out of every thousand, actually wake up while undergoing surgery?

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How to reduce number of people waking up during surgery

November 09, 2018 - 5:30 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It is a very strange phenomenon, but did you know that in very rare cases a patient, perhaps one out of every thousand, actually wake up while undergoing surgery? 

What’s more disturbing is that these people can feel excruciating pain without being able to move or cry out. 

The problem can be a result of an improper dose of anesthesia. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has limited this phenomenon dramatically with a very logical approach: a check-list protocol. This has made a real difference. 

Another step in line of protection are monitors. They measure brain wave activity and provide doctors a reading that represents the mathematical probability a patient is awake. The Society believes the devices should be used on a case by case basis. 

What they want to do is avoid problems where patients can actually wake up during a procedure. 

The major point?

This is unacceptable and everything possible is being done to prevent it from happening, no matter how rare.