A woman was conscious during gynecological surgery after doctors used wrong anesthesia

by Editorial Team

USA Today- A woman undergoing gynecological surgery in the United Kingdom was improperly anesthetized, causing her to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and nightmares three times a week, according to her lawyers.

Yeovil Hospital in the English city of Bath has admitted liability for using the incorrect anesthesia — a spinal anesthesia — instead of a general anesthetic during a gynecological procedure in July 2018, the BBC and PA Media reported.

Lawyers at the U.K.-based firm Irwin Mitchell are representing the woman, who is in her 30s and is remaining anonymous. They told the news outlets she felt the skin on her belly button being cut during the surgery, and remained awake as her abdomen was filled with gas and doctors inserted a laparoscope, a small tube with a camera attached.

The woman’s lawsuit said her screams went unheard because she was wearing an oxygen mask. Her lawyers told PA Media her blood pressure went up, an indication of distress, but the procedure did not stop.

Her lawyer, Elise Burvill, told the BBC that the doctor had never performed the specific procedure on a patient who was conscious.

“It appears that a breakdown of communication led to the use of a different anesthetic to that normally required for such an operation,” a spokeswoman from Yeovil Hospital told the news outlets. “We are sorry if this patient suffered any distress as a result.”

The woman has yet to reach a settlement with the hospital. 

“In a typical year, we carry out more than 15,000 operations,” the hospital told PA Media, “many of them life-saving, and we pride ourselves on the highest possible standards of care and safety.”

Neither the woman’s law firm nor Yeovil Hospital immediately responded to a request for comment from USA TODAY.

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