"Waking up during surgery"

About: Bristol Royal Infirmary / General surgery

(as the patient),

During what was supposed to be a twenty minute procedure to remove a plate and screws from my ankle, taking two hours without explanation. I awoke in extreme pain crying in agony and was eventually sedated again until when the operation was completed I was brought around in recovery again screaming and breaking down in tears traumatised with immense pain.

When being released a surgeon (not known to me who was neither of the surgeons who had performed the operation) addressed me with what can be best described as a de-brief although admitting me he was unsure of my exact medical records and history, when I questioned what had happened and why? The surgeon denied such events took place! Who can I approach as it seems ranks have closed and I feel this explains why a complete stranger was assigned to deal with my release.

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Response from Lucy Nicholls, Development Officer, Somerset LINk


I'm really sorry to hear about your experience. The LINks (Local Involvement Networks) are independent networks of patients and patient groups and we are here to make sure that patients' stories are heard. We can also make sure that you are put in touch with the right people so that your issues can (hopefully) be resolved. I'm based in Somerset but there are LINks in every area. Please get in touch if you have not yet managed to speak to the right person and I'll be happy to help if I can. You can email me on lucy.nicholls@helpandcare.org.uk.

I hope your leg is getting better and you are feeling okay.

Best wishes,


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by BROKEN LEG (the patient)

Hello Lucy

Thank you for your interest and concern.

At the next out-patients appointment I again questioned with the consultant what exactly had happened? explaining my memory of events was quite traumatic. He flicked through my case file arriving at the procedure notes declaring as if reading from them, I had woken in transit from theatre to recovery. Strange that I can remember as clear as day the recovery suite nurse confirming, whilst attempting to calm me down, in stating I had woken during the procedure.

To this day believe the consultants explanation to be a bare faced lie! But what can I do?

In fareness to all connected and involved in repairing my leg I shall be eternally thankfull for all their efforts however this incident has tarnished my toughts.

Again I thank you Lucy