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"Tim Spring heads the ‘assiduous’ team at Moore Blatch LLP."

Legal 500 2016

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Anaesthetic awareness

Anaesthetic awareness can occur during surgery and can result in the feeling that you were awake whilst under a general anaesthetic.

Sometimes this can be a dream like state while you are unconscious or a very traumatic experience of physical pain.

Experiencing unwanted anaesthetic awareness can change your life and we can assist you by providing you with legal assistance to help you obtain compensation for the negligence of your healthcare professionals.

What is anaesthetic awareness?

During surgery anaesthetic will either be administered locally to numb the specific area concerned for the purposes of the operation or generally with the effect of making you unconscious for the duration of the operation. 

Unfortunately due to various factors including faulty machinery, lack of training or personal circumstances such as drug tolerance levels, the anaesthetic may not be as effective as is required.  This may result in you being aware of the surgery when in fact you should not be. In certain situations general anaesthetic is not required such as for a caesarean section where a local anaesthetic will be administered so you can be aware of the situation.

In a very traumatic case the anaesthetic may not be effective for the entire procedure resulting in you experiencing the pain and awareness of your surroundings.  If you have also been administered with a muscle relaxant for the operation you may be unable to move, wink or make noise to alert anyone to the fact that you are awake.

Experiencing anaesthetic awareness can be extremely traumatic and can result in serious psychological problems including the following:

  • Flashbacks

  • Nightmares

  • Insomnia

  • Post traumatic stress disorder

  • Suicide

Medical care and rehabilitation

Following an experience of undesired anaesthetic awareness you may feel extremely traumatised which can cause long term psychological damage for which you may require medication and therapy.

Long-term support and care

Many people who experience unwanted anaesthetic awareness require some support for many years following the traumatic experience.  Our aim is to assist you as much as possible to enable you to live as independently as possible. We have a wide range of contacts with organisations that can assist you and can work closely with you including:

  • Case managers who will assess and organise any support and care you may need;

  • Support workers who will visit you on a regular basis to provide you support and help;

  • Community rehabilitation such as occupational therapy.

When should I contact a solicitor?

You or your family should contact a solicitor as soon as possible.  The sooner we can commence work on your claim the sooner we can begin to assist you.

We can advise you on your benefit rights and also advise on dealing with debts which might arise due to being off work.  Our specialist community care team can also provide advice and support in relation to your ongoing entitlement to health and social care provision and support at home or in the community.

Can I claim compensation for my experience?

You may be entitled to a claim for compensation where you have experienced anaesthetic awareness as a result of your healthcare professional’s negligence.

If you believe that you or someone you know has suffered as a result of medical negligence please contact Tim Spring. We deal with clients throughout the country and we will visit you at your home, hospital or rehabilitation unit.

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