Having surgery without anaesthetic is the stuff of nightmares. For one woman it turned into a reality she'll never forget.
The patient was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich in January 2013 to give birth to her first child. She was in labour when she arrived at the hospital and was given an epidural but two hours into the birth the medical team decided to perform a caesarean. The epidural was removed but no additional anaesthetic was given before the surgery started, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
When surgeons began cutting the patient experienced excruciating pain and it was only then that more pain relief was administered.
According to solicitor Patricia Wakeford, who is a dual-qualified midwife and solicitor, after the caesarean her client suffered from frequent nightmares and anxiety and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
After admitting the woman was not given enough anaesthetic Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust paid her around £27,000 in damages.
Last year a Welsh mother spoke of her "agony" when anaesthetic wore off during her C-section, leaving her in excruciating pain as surgeons "tugged" at her insides and "realigned her organs." Danielle Parry, then 23, was unable to tell doctors what was happening as the four attempts to numb her abdomen in preparation for the C-section had rendered her unable to speak. The pain was so intense that she passed out and woke up to find her baby son in her arms.
It's one thing for anaesthetic to wear off during surgery — something else entirely when none is given in the first place. I've given birth by C-section and I remember how terrifying the experience was — and that's without feeling any pain. It's impossible to imagine what it's like to feel a surgeon's knife cutting into you.
Financial compensation is great but let's hope this woman gets the help she needs to recover from her post-traumatic stress disorder and enjoy motherhood.
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