By Bahar Gholipour via LiveScience
With anesthetics properly given, very few patients wake up during surgery. However, new findings point to the possibility of a state of mind in which a patient is neither fully conscious nor unconscious, experts say.
This possible third state of consciousness, may be a state in which patients can respond to a command, but are not disturbed by pain or the surgery, according to Dr. Jaideep Pandit, anesthetist at St John’s College in England, who discussed the idea today (Sept. 19) at The Annual Congress of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.
Pandit dubbed this state dysanaesthesia, and said the evidence that it exists comes partly from a recent study, in which 34 surgical patients were anesthetized, and had their whole body paralyzed except for their forearm, allowing them to move their fingers in response to commands or to signify if they are awake or in pain during surgery.
One-third of patients in the study moved their finger if they were asked to, even though they were under what seemed to be adequate anesthesia, according to the study led by Dr. Ian F. Russell, of Hull Royal Infirmary in England, and published Sept. 12 in the journal Anaesthesia.
“What’s more remarkable is that they only move their fingers if they are asked. None of the patients spontaneously responded to the surgery. They are presumably not in pain,” said Pandit, who wrote an editorial about the study.
Normally, while patients are under anesthesia, doctors continuously monitor them, and administer anesthetic drugs as needed. The goal is to ensure the patient has received adequate medication to remain deeply unconscious during surgery. However, it is debated how reliable the technologies used during surgery to “measure” unconsciousness are.
- Strange New State of Consciousness Could Exist, Researcher Says (livescience.com)
- Anaesthesiologists Claim Evidence Of Third State Of Consciousness (disinfo.com)
- New state of consciousness in surgery possible (nbcnews.com)
- Anaesthesiologists Claim Evidence Of Third State Of Consciousness (fratersef.wordpress.com)
- Strange new state of consciousness could exist, researcher says (sott.net)
- Researcher Finds Evidence of Previously Undocumented State of Consciousness (news.softpedia.com)
- CLN – Strange New State Of Consciousness Could Exist, Researcher Says – 21 September 2013 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- ‘Think of it as a Dream if You Wake on the Operating Table’ (sorendreier.com)
- Awareness during surgery and a ‘third state’ of consciousness: dysanaesthesia (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Far more people wake up on the operating table that previously thought… but don’t worry, you (probably) won’t feel at a thing (thisismoney.co.uk)