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Anaesthetic Awareness Claims

Anaesthetists are highly trained specialists who assess patients before their procedures and play an important role in giving care to them before, during and after surgery. Most procedures involving an anaesthetist pass without incident, however, sometimes mistakes can happen which can lead to an extremely distressing incident for the patient. If you have undergone a surgical procedure where you became conscious during the operation, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation against the healthcare provider who treated you. On this page, you will find general information to consider before making your claim, together with details of how our team can help you.

Anaesthetic awareness

Helpful Information

Here at McCarthy + Co, our team of specialist medical negligence solicitors have decades of experience in dealing with many different types of negligent behaviour in healthcare settings, including anaesthetic awareness claims. Becoming conscious during surgery can be a frightening and painful ordeal with long-term mental health implications. If you have experienced anaesthetic awareness during surgery, our expert medical negligence team will be able to advise you on whether you might have a case and then guide you towards winning the compensation that you deserve.

Bringing an anaesthetic awareness compensation claim

It is rare for the administration of anaesthetic to go wrong but there are several scenarios that can be the potential cause for it. If you have suffered on-going physical or mental health problems such as those listed below, our team might be able to take on your case and help you to bring your compensation claim.

  • Pain during surgery – if you suffered significantly as a result of becoming conscious during surgery.
  • Anxiety, sleeplessness, and nightmares – if you have suffered with recurring sleep issues after your surgery.
  • Fear of medical treatment and hospitals – if you have developed a fear of medical staff, doctors and/or hospitals.
  • Painful flashbacks – if you are beset by regular flashbacks to your surgery experience.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – if you have developed symptoms of PTSD following your treatment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the questions often posed to our medical negligence team.

  • What is anaesthetic awareness?

    Anaesthetic awareness occurs when a patient becomes conscious during surgery and can recall the event, despite being given general anaesthesia. This rare phenomenon can result in sensations of pain, pressure, or discomfort and may lead to psychological effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It typically happens when the anaesthesia administered is insufficient to keep the patient fully unconscious during the procedure. Awareness during anaesthesia is a serious concern, and healthcare providers aim to minimise its risk through careful monitoring and adjustment of anaesthetic levels.

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  • How can healthcare providers minimise the risk of anaesthetic awareness?

    They can minimise risk by carefully assessing the patient's medical history and tailoring the anaesthetic plan to their specific needs. Using advanced monitoring equipment to track brain activity levels during surgery allows for real-time adjustments to the anaesthetic dose. Training anaesthesiologists and surgical teams to recognise and respond to signs of insufficient anaesthesia is crucial. Additionally, engaging in thorough pre-operative discussions with patients about the risks and signs of awareness helps in managing expectations. These measures collectively enhance patient safety and help to reduce the incidence of anaesthetic awareness.

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  • Under what circumstances can I bring a claim relating to anaesthetic awareness?

    You may have grounds to bring a claim if it can be demonstrated that your healthcare provider failed to follow standard medical practices. This could include inadequate patient assessment, improper dosing or administration of anaesthesia, failure to monitor your condition effectively during surgery, or not responding appropriately to signs of awareness. If this negligence directly resulted in you experiencing pain, psychological trauma, or other harm, you are likely to have a valid claim. Legal cases often hinge on proving that the care provided fell below the accepted standard and that this breach directly caused harm.

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  • How do I make a start on bringing my claim?

    The impact of anaesthetic awareness can have a significant long-term effect on your well-being, and you deserve to be properly compensated for it. If you have suffered because of issues similar to those above, you should document your experiences as soon as possible after your surgery. You then need to get in touch with qualified medical negligence solicitors, who can investigate your claim, help you to determine your case, and advise you on the likely levels of compensation you might be able to seek.

Start your anaesthetic awareness claim

If you have suffered anaesthetic awareness during surgery, contact our solicitors today to make a start on your claim or gather more information. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Medical Negligence Team at McCarthy + Co

About McCarthy + Co

With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with medical negligence claims, McCarthy + Co. has experience bringing claims relating to a wide variety of healthcare scenarios, including negligent anaesthetic administrations. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.

Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork, but we have worked with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal injury.

Useful Resources

Some links relating to anaesthetic awareness that you may find useful:

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Our Partners

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Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

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Twitter: @flormccarthy LinkedIn: /in/flormccarthy/

wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

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LinkedIn: /in/johnmccarthysolicitor/

is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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