When one thinks of compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness, horrific images spring to mind of patients being fully aware of what is going on around them and being in extreme distress during a surgical procedure, but unable to communicate their trauma to medical staff due to paralysis.
Fortunately this is an extremely rare scenario. Most patients who are “awake” during an operation only feel a slight sensation during the procedure and – according to medical experts – many forget about their experience by the time they regain full consciousness.
This is because, even though a patient cannot verbally communicate their distress, the body reacts to certain stimulus. An anaesthetist would notice this and adjust the amount of anaesthesia a patient is receiving accordingly – recording the adjustment in his or her notes.
As the amount of anaesthesia increases, it causes memory loss. This is why a claim for being awake during an operation is sometimes dismissed by hospital authorities, and why you should consult with a solicitor if you have experienced anaesthetic awareness.
Making a Claim for being Awake during an Operation
When you speak with a solicitor, he or she will ask you to describe the sensations you felt, any conversations you heard and anything you may have seen during your partial consciousness. You solicitor will ask your permission to access your medical records and will request the notes maintained by the anaesthetist during the surgical procedure.
Your description of the anaesthetic awareness experience, your medical records and the anaesthetist´s notes will be analysed by an independent medical expert. Your solicitor will also review case histories to find previous examples of where mistakes have been made with the administration of anaesthesia to support your version of events.
When sufficient evidence of negligence has been established, your solicitor will write to the NHS Trust responsible for your care and send it a “Letter of Claim”. The letter states that you are making compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness and requests that they acknowledge liability for your injuries within ninety days so that a settlement of your claim for being awake during an operation can be negotiated.
As mentioned above, a claim for being awake during an operation can sometimes be dismissed by hospital authorities, who refuse to accept liability for any physical or psychological trauma you may have suffered. Solicitor prepare compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness as if they were to be presented in court, and if your claim for being awake during an operation is rejected, he or she will discuss with you the issuing of court proceedings against the NHS Trust.
Settlements of Compensation Claims for Anaesthetic Awareness
Settlements of compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness are based on the level of physical and psychological trauma you experienced, plus any long term consequences to your quality of life. Consequently, if you have developed a fear of being alone in the dark or suffered depression, this will be taken into account when your claim for being awake during an operation is resolved.
You will also be able to recover any costs or loss of income you have incurred – or may incur in the future due to your experience – plus, if you have developed a diagnosed physiological injury, you will be able to claim the costs of therapy. Your solicitor will go through each element of your claim for being awake during an operation once you have decided that you may have compensation claims for aesthetic awareness which are worth your while to pursue.
Further Information about Anaesthetic Awareness and Compensation Claims
No two compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness are the same due to the degree of consciousness that a patient has and the physical and psychological trauma they experience. The consequences of the physical and psychological trauma can be different for every patient, and this is why you should always seek professional legal advice about compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness at the earliest possible opportunity.
In this respect, you are invited to call our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau and discuss your experience and its consequences with an experienced medical negligence solicitor. Our solicitor will answer any legal questions you may have about compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness and will guide you through the process of making a claim for being awake during an operation as it applies in your particular circumstances.
Kindly note that you are not under any obligation to proceed with compensation claims for anaesthetic awareness by using our legal advice service, and all calls to our Medical negligence Advice Bureau are strictly confidential. Our aim is to provide you with impartial legal advice, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you have a claim for being awake during an operation that may be worth your while to pursue.