The United States' top patient-safety watchdog group has issued an alert about the dangers of waking up during surgery -- a warning that many in the legal and health professions say could trigger more malpractice suits against anesthesiologists. The alert gives new ammunition to patients who reportedly rarely sued because they could not prove their claims. The group says the incidents, known as "anesthesia awareness," happen 20,000 to 40,000 times a year.
New Malpractice Concern: Waking in Surgery
The National Law Journal
November 15, 2004