Abstract : Introduction: Intraoperative awareness is an uncommon but extremely unfavourable occurrence affecting
patients who undergo surgery under general anaesthesia. The temporary effects of awareness in some
patients may be sleep disturbances, nightmares and anxiety. At times, the patients may remain fearful
regarding the occurrence of awareness under anaesthesia if in future they require it. The long term effects
may range from post-traumatic stress disorder to a preoccupation with death.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of intra-operative awareness in the
patients with our current anaesthesia technique.
Materials and Methods: 1000 participants were included in this observational study, who were posted
for elective or emergency surgeries or procedures under general anaesthesia. Incidence of intra-operative
awareness was assessed by Brice’s Questionnaire, modified and translated according to our study design.
Patients’ interview reports were classified as (a) definite awareness (b) possible awareness (c) no awareness
and (d) dreaming.
Results: Out of 1000 participants, 575 (57.5%) were males and 425 (42.5%) were females. In the present
study, 780 (78.0%) had elective surgery while 220 (22.0%) had emergency surgery. No intra-operative
complications were seen in 844 (84.4%) patients while hypotension was seen in 77 (7.7%) patients,
bleeding was seen in 47 (4.7%) and hypoxia was seen in 25 (2.5%) patients. 997 (99.7%) patients didn’t
have any form of awareness during anaesthesia while two (0.2%) patients had dreaming during anaesthesia
and one patient confirmed hearing voices during surgery which was considered as possible awareness
according to the definition.
Conclusion: In our study, incidence of possible awareness was found to be 0.1%. Anaesthesia experience
was satisfactory among 93.7% patients. Perioperative empathetic approach towards the patients reduces
the anxiety, speculations regarding surgery and anaesthesia, and this helps in minimizing the incidence of
awareness during anaesthesia.
Keywords: Intraoperative awareness, Anaesthesia experience, General anaesthesia.