Summary of “This is what it’s like waking up during surgery”

Nearly all the patients included said they heard voices or other sounds under general anaesthesia.
Estimates of how often anaesthesia awareness happens have varied depending on the methods used, but those relying on patient reports had tended to suggest it was very rare indeed.
The results, published in 2014, found that the overall prevalence was just 1 in 19,000 patients undergoing anaesthesia.
During the induction of the anaesthesia, the staff place a cuff around the patient’s upper arm that delays the passage of the neuromuscular agent through the arm.
“My view is that the patient is expecting to be unconscious, and, as a researcher who wants to understand the mechanisms at play, but also a clinician who wants to deliver high-quality care and meet the expectations of the patient, we are duty-bound to understand this balance and to find out the true rates and the true impact of those events, whether they have any impact or not, and the ways we can curtail them.”
Having gained strength in the years following the trauma, Donna is now trying to remedy the problem, by working with Canadian universities to educate doctors about the risks of anaesthesia awareness and the best ways to treat patients.
Although widespread signalling across the brain appears to be impaired when people are under general anaesthesia, there is evidence that certain areas – including the auditory cortex – remain responsive, suggesting that medical staff might be able to send suggestions and encouragement, while a patient is unconscious, to reduce their pain after surgery.
Clearly, no one is suggesting that you would keep a patient fully aware on purpose, but perhaps one day more anaesthetists will be able to make use of the brain’s ability to absorb information on the operating table.

The orginal article.