Awareness — A Medico-Legal Problem
A patient signing a consent form and agreeing to have an operation performed under general anaesthesia expects to be unconscious and free from pain or unpleasant sensation during the surgical procedure. He or she does not anticipate hearing a surgeon and assistant conversing while they work, Yet, since the advent of muscle relaxant drugs and their introduction to anaesthetic practice in the 1940’s the possibility of a paralysed patient remaing awake has become a reality, fortunately a very uncommon experience but one that in recent years is seemingly on the increase. A number of cases have been reported from time to time, but for the past fifteen years the Medical Defence Union has been receiving an average of four or five cases per year.
KeywordsMedical Defence Induction Agent Caesarian Section Volatile Agent Anaesthetic Practice
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