Ouch!

  1. Blunder Leaves Woman Awake for Surgery
    Mon Jun 30, 9:00 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo!

    VIENNA (Reuters) - A woman lay awake during surgery for 45 minutes, unable to move or call for help, after staff forgot to hook up the machine pumping out anaesthetic, the Austrian daily Kurier reported Monday.

    The woman was temporarily paralyzed because she had been given a muscle relaxant, and her ordeal ended only after a replacement doctor who came into the operating room saw tears in her eyes and noticed the machine was not connected properly.

    The woman, who was undergoing abdominal surgery, is suing for 70,000 euro ($79,970) in damages, the hospital in the Austrian province of Carinthia confirmed.



    Yeeeeowww, hope that doesn't happen too often!



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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Katnip
    Oh, man. The poor woman. I think I"d be suing too.
  4. by   renerian
    OMG how horrible.........

    renerian
  5. by   P_RN
    I bet she will still be charged for the surgery.

    That is horrible!!!
  6. by   PennyLane
    I saw a program on this on Discovery or Discovery Health a few months ago. Apparently this is more common than one would think. One woman on there underwent a 3 hour surgery while wide awake, but paralyzed. Another had one of her eyes removed, and she was awake the entire time. At one point one of the assistants saw her wiggle her thumb, so the doctor asked for more anesthetic. Unfortunately, she recieved more paralyzing agent instead. As her eye was open, she saw the entire thing, until the optic nerve was severed.

    A man on the show had open heart surgery when he was 12, and was awake the entire time. He had supressed the memory for many years, but it started coming back to him in bits and pieces. He was a psychologist and eventually had to give up his practice b/c he was so emotionally scarred.

    I'm due for surgery next month, and I have to admit, I'm a little nervous. I've been under general once before, with no problems, but that program really, really got to me.
  7. by   Shamrock
    Originally posted by P_RN
    I bet she will still be charged for the surgery.

    That is horrible!!!

  8. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    I don't see how the OR staff could have missed the elevated BP and HR at the time of incision. The autonomic response to stress would be obvious.................wouldn't it??
  9. by   PennyLane
    Originally posted by Peeps Mcarthur
    I don't see how the OR staff could have missed the elevated BP and HR at the time of incision. The autonomic response to stress would be obvious.................wouldn't it??
    They mentioned this in the program. Amazingly, their heartrates did NOT go up.

    http://health.discovery.com/schedule...=0&channel=DHC

    It's playing again on July 7th.
  10. by   Tweety
    Gee, in America she'd be getting at least 70 million. Ouch is right.
  11. by   jnette
    As Mel said, I too, saw a program on this topic last year.. don't think it was Discovery.. somthing else like 60 Minutes/48 Hours... and it DOES happen ! They had SEVERAL ppl on describing their ordeal... awful awful thought... paralyzed and not be ablle to communicate that you are awke and feeling every little thing...
    gives me the shivers....
  12. by   colleen10
    OMG!!! The eye surgery really creeped me out!

    I have heard of this also but under the context that the anestesiologists (sp?) was diverting drugs, therefor the patients were not given enough and ended up awake for the duration of their procedure.
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Since bradycardia and hypotension are listed as possible side effects, I suppose that it is possible. Elevated hr would be seen after administration as a compensating mechanism to the expected drop in pressure....................but there had to be some objective data observed coinciding with the incision. Certainly the anesthesiologist must have been reading a really good article.

    I have very little faith in the media's concern for accuracy of medical reporting. Perhapse a nurse anesthetist will chime in and give us an opinnion.........uhmmm??
  14. by   lissagirl
    OH my gosh! Thats incredibly shocking. I had a friend who said that her epidural did not take on one side when she had a c section but they took care of her when they realized she was feeling it.
    I had heart surgery and the anesthisiologist came to see me after the surgery to ask if I thought he did a good job and I am soooo glad he did. It was a 4 hour surgery and I couldnt imagine being aware of it. Is it the US that the discovery show was talking about or all places in general.
    Sooo shocked

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