What Happens When You Wake Up During Ongoing Surgery?

Source: Freepik

Imagine suddenly awakening to hellish pain. and occurs just before the surgery begins or immediately after its onset. Think of the unbearable horror when you try to scream, but your voice doesn't obey. In these modern times, there are new technologies that allow doctors to it's then that you realize that your entire body is paralyzed, allowing you to more accurately determine a patient's condition during surgery. There's only one thought that comes to mind. 

For example, a method of monitoring the auditory system of patients To die as soon as possible and rid yourself of this nightmarish torment. has been developed and is considered very promising. This isn't a scene from a documentary about the atrocities of the Gestapo or the Mafia.

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Its essence is that the hair cells of the inner ear, the auditory nerve, and the brain stem are affected. Any of us could experience such a horrendous sensation during a routine medical operation. Upon the awakening of the patient, begin to react to sound stimuli. And this is even if the patient is completely paralyzed.

Every day, more than 60,000 people across the world undergo routine surgery and receive general anesthesia, only in United States. But it's also possible that soon such innovations will be of no use regardless. Physicians are more and more often managing to carry out Usually, during an operation, patients sleep throughout without feeling anything. complex operations without anesthesia, However, 0.1–0.2% of patients, or one or two out of every 1,000 cases suddenly regain consciousness on the operating table, without feeling any pain or stress. Neurosurgeons from Germany have even been able to operate. In medical terminology, this is called anesthesia awareness

On parts of the brain of fully conscious patients. Innovation has made it possible to dispense with general anesthesia. So why does anesthesia suddenly stop working? and also local anesthesia on the skull and scalp of a patient. And how does surgery done awake threaten the patient?

How does anesthesia really works?

First, we have to understand just how anesthesia really works. This helps doctors destroy tumors in cases that had previously been. Normal anesthesia actually involves several different groups of drugs, inoperable and without damaging important parts of the brain. None of them independently provides the necessary conditions for an operation.

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During the operation, the doctor can simply ask the patient to speak. Generally, anesthesia consists of three components. count, recognize faces and photos, or even just lift a finger. 

The first is anesthetics, which immerse the patient in a kind of sleep and relieve him or her from storing memories. Interestingly, often such actions are necessary.

The second are the so-called relaxants, which relax the muscles. during the operation. This new method has become indispensable. They paralyze the skeletal muscles, allowing the surgeon to work without interference. in the case of contraindications to general anesthesia. For example, with the exacerbation of bronchial asthma, a state of narcosis is achieved using analgesics and narcotic anesthetics, angina pectoris, and some neurological disorders.

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These drugs completely block the passage of painful nerve impulses. Honestly, the percentage of operations done without anesthesia is still quite small, but with the development of these new technologies, an anesthesiologist devises an individual, unique cocktail for each patient😅. Their number will undoubtedly grow.

The doctor's tasks are to completely put the patient to sleep, relax their muscles. And someday, people won't have to suffer the long waking up and recovery period after anesthesia or depression following anesthesia awareness. To deliver an analgesic effect. At the same time, the mixture should not lead to a malfunction of the cardiovascular system. And then we'll have achieved our dream, even with the most serious of operations, whether nervous or other bodily systems.

How anesthesia is complicated to give someone?

We'll go to a surgeon for only a short visit or a couple of hours. Calculating the optimal dose of anesthesia is really quite difficult. and casually stroll home after. It's dependent on the particular characteristics of each patient's body, their lifestyle, the habits of the patient, and much more. The difficulties are compounded by the fact that the mechanism of action of anesthetics is not entirely understood.

And in addition, each person's body reacts to the medicines in its own special way. So, quite obviously, mistakes and dosage are quite possible. If the mixture doesn't contain precisely the right amount of ingredients or the patient's body produces an unexpected reaction, the operation can turn into a genuine nightmare. When improper anesthesia is administered, events develop according to several different scenarios.

Improper anesthesia might give birth to unexpected consequences

In one scenario, after awakening, the patient can hear, see, and sometimes even move, but not feel any pain. In this case, while he has used the right amount of pain blocking medication, the anesthetist has underestimated the amount of anesthetics and relaxants. However, doctors are likely to quickly notice an early awakening of the patient in such cases and add in the necessary components to the anesthesia. After this, a person usually doesn't have strong memories of the experience, which could lead to mental disorders or depression. 

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Another scenario is that, having woken up, the patient can feel neither pain nor his or her own body. So the dose of relaxants and painkillers for them is sufficient, but the amount of anesthetic is too low. It might even happen that the surgeon doesn't notice the awakening of the patient until the end of the operation, but since there's no pain, the patient will not suffer serious psychological trauma. He or she just listens to the doctor's conversations or looks at their faces. 

Sometimes, after awakening, the patient can feel pain and can move, so in such a cocktail, there aren't enough of any of the components of the anesthesia. This condition, though, is quickly recognized by doctors, and they instantly add more anesthesia. Worst of all, though, is if a patient wakes up and can feel pain, but because of the paralysis, the patient cannot report it. In this case, the dose of relaxants is sufficient, but the other components of the anesthesia are not.

This can cause tremendous suffering to the patient, and after the operation, the patient will most likely have to struggle for an extended period with such things as general stress, mental disorders, insomnia, and nightmares. Sometimes, such patients' thoughts even turn to suicide. The torture of one such patient, who became conscious during a heart transplant operation, is shown in all its gory detail in the American film - Anesthesia

Improper anesthesia: Soul-chilling stories told by real experiences

Of course, there are plenty of other soul-chilling stories that weren't made into a movie. Anesthesiologists from all of the hospitals in the UK and Ireland compiled a collection of testimonies from people who came to them under the scalpel of a surgeon. In 2012, they put together a report regarding about 300 cases of the unsuccessful use of anesthesia. The researchers reported that many patients had nightmarish memories of unbearable pain and suffocation.

In 1998Carol Weihrer woke up during an operation to remove her eye. The unhappy woman tried to scream or give some kind of signal to the doctors, but she couldn't move an inch. And, horrifyingly, the operation lasted for 5.5 hours. Every minute and every second of the operation became unbearable torture for Carol.

 Carol Weihrer | Source: BBC

She repeatedly went mad with the pain, lost consciousness, and came back again. This was repeated over and over and over. 

Another patient, June Carson, after also waking up on the operating table, could not move or make a sound. But the woman clearly felt the surgeon's knife cut into her flesh. The pain was so unbearable that June begged again and again to die. And, indeed, 15 minutes after the onset of her suffering, her heart stopped. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the doctors caught on in time and restarted her failing heart. But the greatest fear for most people, they said, was inspired not by the potential pain but by the paralysis.

One of the authors of the study, Zadi Pandit, believes that they felt the pain was at least understandable, but few knew how it felt to be paralyzed. Many thought that they had been buried alive. It's not surprising that, most often, patients cannot forgive the doctors for such glaring mistakes. One patient went into surgery to have their leg cut open, and the surgeon needed to drill into the bone.

The patient was given anesthesia, but it didn't work properly. The man was fully conscious, lying there on the table with a tube down his throat, unable to move. And yet, he can try to make some kind of assignment to the doctors by wiggling his toes. The nurse noticed the wiggling toes and alerted the surgeon, but the doctor said that the toe movement was only unconscious reflexes and began the operation anyway. Due to the unbelievable pain and mental trauma, the patient became deathly ill and soon stopped breathing. 

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However, the physicians immediately connected him to an artificial respirator, preventing him from expiring. After the operation, the victim filed a lawsuit and was compensated in the amount of 15,000 pounds. But nothing can be compared to what has been experienced by newborn babies.

Anesthesia awareness and the new born babes  

In Europe and the US, babies for many years underwent operations with very weak anesthesia or without any anesthesia at all. During that time, there was an opinion that the nervous system in newborns was almost completely undeveloped. And as such, they did not feel anything. It's hard to imagine how much pain and fear all those poor little creatures experienced during operations on their tiny little bodies.

Only in the 1980s did the members of the American Society of Pediatrics and the American Society of Anesthesiologists change their approach. They finally declared that newborn babies, including preterm infants, could feel these surgical interventions.

After that, doctors finally ended the diabolical practice of cutting into live, unanesthetized, or weakly anesthetized babies. Having learned all the horrors of anesthesia awareness, one could, of course, refuse to have operations. But this shouldn't be done, especially when there are strong indications of the need for surgical intervention. 

It should be remembered that the probability of awakening under the scalpel is a negligible 0.008 to 0.2% of all operations. And in approximately 80% of all such cases, even after they have come, the patients don't remember anything. In addition, anesthesia awareness is most often only for a very short time.

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