Fewer patients than previously reported regain consciousness while under anesthesia — with one episode occurring in every 15,000 general anesthetics, a new study out of the U.K. shows.
A survey conducted by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland asked senior anesthesiologists to report cases of "accidental awareness" in 2011.
Previous studies show that accidental awareness happens in one of every 500 cases, but the latest information states it occurs once in every 15,000 uses. The study also found these events rarely cause pain.
In the U.K., an estimated three million patients are put under general anesthesia each year, the study said.
The study was published in Anaesthesia and the British Journal of Anaesthesia.
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