Doctors Operated on a Woman Without Proper Anesthetic, Failed to Hear Her Screaming During Surgery

A British hospital has admitted to accidentally operating on a woman while she was still conscious, resulting in her screaming "in agony" during the procedure.

The woman in her 30s, who does not wish to be named, went in for a gynecological procedure at Yeovil District Hospital, South-West England, in 2018.

However, she was given a spinal rather than general anesthetic ahead of the procedure, meaning she did not fully go under, according to law firm Irwin Mitchell.

The woman also claims the doctors were unable to hear her when she screamed for help because she was wearing an oxygen mask.

"As I have had children I knew how an epidural felt and I remember thinking that it was not the same experience. It felt like the anesthetic had not worked," she said.

"We went into theatre and I actually screamed out when the surgeon cut my belly button.

"However, I had an oxygen mask on and a curtain was also up, so no one responded.

"A laparoscope was then placed inside me and I was in agony and the final straw was when my abdomen was filled with gas."

The law firm states medical staff were made aware of the woman's discomfort because of an increase in blood pressure, but carried on with the operation.

The woman claimed that a doctor even told her beforehand that he had never performed a gynecological procedure on a patient while they were still conscious.

She said the incident has resulted in her suffering from PTSD and nightmares.

"I have these images lying on a table with people watching me and not listening to my screams. It is terrible and I can wake up around three times a week due to this," she said.

"I'm also now very nervous and paranoid around doctors too—my trust has just been shattered.

"While nothing will change what has happened to me, I just hope that lessons can be learned so no one else faces similar problems in the future. The past year has been so difficult. I would not want what happened to me to happen to anyone else."

In a statement to Newsweek, the Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "It appears that a breakdown of communication led to the use of a different anesthetic to that normally required for such an operation. We are sorry for any distress this patient suffered as a result.

"However, this case is yet to be resolved with the claimant and we will therefore not discuss this further.

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

The Trust did not respond when asked if a settlement has been agreed upon yet.

surgery
Surgeons at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham conduct an operation on June 14, 2006. A British hospital has admitted performing an operation on a woman while still conscious. Christopher Furlong/Getty