Suppressing the Mind

Part of the series Contemporary Clinical Neuroscience pp 161-173


Anesthesia Awareness: When the Mind Is Not Suppressed

  • George A. MashourAffiliated withDepartments of Anesthesiology and Neurosurgery, University of Michigan Medical School Email author 

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In approximately 1–2 general anesthetics/1000, adequate hypnosis and amnesia are not achieved, leading to intraoperative awareness and subsequent explicit recall. “Anesthesia awareness,” as it is sometimes called, is one of the most feared complications of surgery by both patients and physicians alike. A significant proportion of these patients develops long-term psychological sequelae, including posttraumatic stress disorder. In this chapter I discuss the incidence, risk factors, prevention, and postoperative consequences of anesthesia awareness.


Awareness during general anesthesia, awareness with explicit recall, intraoperative awareness, anesthesia awareness, anesthetic depth, depth of anesthesia monitor