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100 People a Day Wake up During Surgery

Posted - Oct. 13, 2003 at 12:20 p.m.



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ATLANTA, Oct 13, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Patients wake up during surgery because of anesthesia failure about 100 times a day, says a study released Monday by Atlanta researchers.

"(Anesthesiologists) have their head in the sand, they say they have never had a case in their career," says the study's lead investigator, Peter Sebel, a professor of anesthesiology at Emory University School of Medicine "I think they may have, they just don't know about it."

Sebel studied 20,000 surgical patients and found for every 1,000 given general anesthesia one or two people become aware of what's happening to them and half feel pain, USA Today reported.

The findings led the Food and Drug Administration late Friday to broaden its approval of the bispectral index technology monitor that provides a number of the brain's EEG waves to tell anesthesiologists how deeply a patient is sedated.

Patients said they can hear music and voices in the operating room, but they feel paralyzed and cannot cry out because of the tube down their throat.

The study, funded by a BIS monitor manufacturer, is being presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists in San Francisco.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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