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, updated on 16th March 2022

Boyes Turner’s clinical negligence team have secured a compensation settlement for a young woman who suffered a serious psychiatric injury as a result of anaesthetic awareness during surgery.

Anaesthetic dosage errors led to our client regaining consciousness and remaining aware for 30 to 40 minutes of her operation, including during surgical incision and suturing (stitching). She suffered excruciating pain but was unable to move owing to the muscle relaxants in the anaesthetic. She believed that she was going to die but was unable to communicate her awareness or her pain to the anaesthetist or the surgical team.

In addition to severe pain during the operation, our client suffered a severe psychological injury. Our psychiatric experts believed that her experience caused her to suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a secondary panic disorder with agoraphobia and an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood. She required psychological therapeutic treatment.

We put our client’s claim for compensation to the defendant hospital. The defendant admitted liability and we were able to negotiate a settlement.