Am I Eligible to Sue if I Wake Up During Surgery?

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
April 19, 2023

When you go in for routine surgery, you’re likely looking forward to the days when this operation is far behind and the complications are remedied. However, those who wake up during surgery may never feel like their procedure has ceased. Unfortunately, awareness can cause severe issues when general anesthesia is administered incorrectly. If this is the case, you may be eligible for compensation depending on the circumstances. If you’ve suffered because you woke up during surgery, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how a Houston, Texas anesthesia error lawyer can help you.

What Prevents Patients from Awareness During Surgery?

When someone undergoes an operation, they receive an anesthetic to help reduce the sensation and pain in the area. Generally, this causes numbness, paralysis, or unconsciousness. In some instances, such as minor procedures like root canals or cyst removals, doctors will administer a local anesthetic, which numbs the area from feeling pain during the operation so the patient can remain awake.

However, for more intensive procedures, doctors will put the patient under general anesthesia. This puts the patient into unconsciousness, meaning they will not be aware or feel pain during the operation. A tube is also inserted into the windpipe to ensure the patient is breathing properly.

It is important to understand that anesthesiologist go through rigorous training due to the delicate nature of this practice. However, errors are not uncommon and are often the result of negligence and malpractice. A doctor who does not take the correct measures to administer the correct amount of anesthesia, does not monitor the patient closely during surgery, or fails to check a patient’s history, such as medications or a history of alcohol use, which can increase their risk of waking up.

What Should I Do if I Wake Up?

If you wake up during surgery, you may be eligible for compensation if your awareness was caused by a negligent anesthesiologist or faulty equipment, you likely have grounds to sue for compensation. Unfortunately, waking up during surgery, though it is extremely unlikely you will feel pain, this experience can be traumatic and life-altering for many. As a result, you may experience emotional damage requiring therapy and reduced quality of life.

Similarly, those who wake up during surgery may regain enough consciousness that it causes them to move. As such, you can become injured at the site of the surgery, requiring additional care and treatment. This can result in extra medical bills.

If you are injured, emotionally or physically, by a negligent anesthesiologist, Davis & Davis can help. Our dedicated legal team will examine the aspects of your case to help fight for the justice you deserve. Reach out today to discuss the details of your case with an experienced attorney.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

April 19 2023

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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