Anesthetic Awareness

Patient awareness under general anesthesia (or anesthetic awareness) is a rare experience that occurs when surgical patients can recall their surroundings or an event – sometimes even pressure or pain –related to their surgery while they were under general anesthesia. In some cases patients may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder following an awareness experience. While severe cases of anesthetic awareness are uncommon, research is ongoing to determine the causes of awareness and ways to prevent it from happening.
Patient receiving anesthesia
 
Patient Awareness Brochure  (PDF)
Although awareness under general anesthesia is rare, this brochure was created by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists to explain this phenomenon, address questions patients may have, and assist patients in communicating with their anesthesia provider.
 
Estado de Alerta Consciente del Paciente Bajo Anestesia General – Qué Significa? (PDF)
A pesar de la rareza del estado de alerta, los miembros de la Asociacion Americana de Enfermeros Anestesistas y la Sociedad Americana de Anestesiologos desean hacer de su conocimiento esta posibilidad. Estas organizaciones han estado estudiando este asunto y estan en proceso de evaluar la efectividad de varias tecnologias y tecnicas parap siminuir las probabilidades de que esto occurra.
 
 
AANA Position Statement 2.12: "Unintended Awareness Under General Anesthesia"
 
 
 
 
 
Legal Briefs: Awareness, AANA Journal, 2006;74:15-18.
 
Public Service Announcement
CRNAs: We'll Be Watching
(This link will take you to YouTube.com)
 
 
 
 

Press Contacts 


Members of the press may contact the AANA Public Relations staff through any of the avenues listed below.
 
Christopher Bettin
Senior Director, Communications
cbettin@aana.com
Phone: 847-655-1143
 
Marlene McDowell
Public Relations Manager
mmcdowell@aana.com
Phone: 847-655-1145
 
Armentia Snyder
Public Relations Specialist
asnyder@aana.com
Phone: 847-655-1148
 
 
Other Resources 
The Anesthesia Awareness Campaign
The mission of the Anesthesia Awareness Campaign is "to prevent patients (even one) from experiencing anesthesia awareness and its consequences through education, prevention, and empowerment by replacing ignorance or fear with knowledge."