Awareness Under Anesthesia More Likely With Bispectral Index Protocol

Patients are more likely to experience unintended intraoperative awareness under general anesthesia with the bispectral index protocol than the end-tidal anesthetic-agent concentration, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

According to the report, unintended intraoperative awareness affects up to 1 percent of patients at high risk for the complication. The study examined 6,041 patients at high risk for awareness to BIS-guided anesthesia and divided the patients into two groups. The first group received BIS-guided anesthesia, and the second group received ETAC-guided anesthesia.

Postoperative interviews revealed definite intraoperative awareness in 0.24 percent of the BIS group and in 0.07 percent of the ETAC group. These results were contrary to the expectations of the researchers, who expected more patients in the ETAC group than in the BIS group to experience awareness.

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