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Waking Into a Nightmare: Anesthesia Awareness in Virginia

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2011 | Medical Malpractice

A person goes in for surgery. They black out as the procedure starts, but then they wake up…during the surgery. They can’t move, can’t speak, but they can feel and hear everything that’s happening. You may have seen horror movies with this scenario, or heard some form of it as an “urban legend.” But this is exactly what happened to Virginia resident Carol Weiher in 1998.When Weiher went in for eye removal surgery, she was awake for much of the five-hour procedure, but unable to move or talk-a condition that happens to as many as two patients per thousand.While many patients report anesthesia error in Virginia, not all are as painful as Weiher’s account. Due to varying levels of medication in the body, anesthesia awareness can take many forms, including:

  • A patient is awake, but cannot feel pain. These patients have adequate painkilling medication, but there is too little anesthesia, causing the patient to regain consciousness.
  • A patient is awake, can move, but cannot feel pain. There is enough painkiller in these patients, but too little of the anesthesia and paralytics.
  • A patient is awake, can move, and can feel pain. Patients with insufficient levels of all three drugs can suffer many conditions as a result, most notably emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

An experienced Fairfax medical malpractice lawyer can get you compensated for your suffering-and can hold the hospital accountable for its mistakes. Call Shevlin Smith at 703-721-4233 today for a free consultation.