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Anesthesia Awareness: What Is Anesthesia Awareness?

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Updated April 09, 2011

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Preventing Anesthesia Awareness

Preventing Anesthesia Awareness

Preventing anesthesia awareness is the responsibility of your anesthesia provider, or anesthesiologist. In order for him to perform this job, it is essential that you are very candid during your pre-surgery discussion.

It is essential that your anesthesiologist knows your medical history, including any history, past or present, of drug use (prescription or illicit) and how much alcohol you drink. In addition, you will need to discuss any history you may have of difficulty with anesthesia, heart or lung problems, and any other medical problems.

In addition to a candid discussion with your anesthesiologist, if you have concerns about anesthesia awareness, you may want to request that a bispectral index (BIS) monitor be used during your case.

A BIS monitor is used to track your brain activity. A sensor is placed on your forehead and assigns a number to your level of brain activity. 0, the lowest score, indicates little to no brain activity, while 100, the highest score, would indicate that you are awake and alert.

The BIS monitor can help notify the anesthesiologist if you are more alert than you should be, even while your body is paralyzed by medication.

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