Anesthesia Awareness: U.K. Anesthetists Report Far Fewer Cases than Patients

April 10, 2013 | Risk Management News

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In a survey of U.K. anesthetists, the estimated incidence of accidental awareness during general anesthesia was 1 in 15,414, a rate much lower than the 1 to 2 cases per 1,000 reported in previous trials that have used questionnaires to ask patients directly, found a study in the April 2013 Anaesthesia. A questionnaire was sent to every consultant and career-grade (staff and associate specialist) anesthetist in the United Kingdom; all local coordinators for each of 329 hospitals, plus 7,125 anesthetists (82%), responded. Respondents indicated the number of new cases of accidental awareness that they knew had occurred among patients under their direct or supervised care in 2011 and estimated the total number of cases that had occurred throughout their careers. The respondents became aware of 153 new cases of accidental awareness in 2011, and the vast majority had never known of a case of accidental awareness in their entire career.

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