The 5th National Audit Project (NAP5) - Accidental Awareness During General Anaesthesia in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Accidental awareness is one of the most feared complications of general anaesthesia for both patients and anaesthetists. Patients spontaneously report this failure of general anaesthesia in approximately 1 in every 19,000 cases, according to the NAP5 report published today. Known as accidental awareness during general anaesthesia (AAGA), it occurs when general anaesthesia is intended but the patient remains conscious. This incidence of spontaneous patient reports of awareness is much lower than estimates of awareness when patients are specifically asked about it after anaesthesia, which are as high as 1 in 600.

The findings come from the largest ever study of awareness, the 5th National Audit Project (NAP5), which has been conducted over the last three years by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI).  The researchers studied 3 million general anaesthetics from every public hospital in UK and Ireland, and studied more than 300 new reports of awareness.

You can download the Press Release here


10 September 2014