15 March 2018

‘I thought I was going to die’ – Traumatised man describes waking up halfway through his surgery

A young man claims he woke up in the middle of an operation because he was given an incorrect dose of anaesthetic.

A young man claims he woke up in the middle of an operation because he was given an incorrect dose of anaesthetic.

Fenn Settle, from Bradford, England, alleges that a foreign nurse who spoke ‘little English’ caused him to wake up during his ruptured appendix surgery.

According to Daily Mail, the 25-year-old says the nurse at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary had incorrectly written down his weight, which led to doctors giving him too little general anaesthetic.

In a desperate attempt to get medics attention, Fenn tried blinking and wiggling his fingers and toes to alert them that he was awake.

The British native, recalls feeling a sharp stabbing pain in his abdomen and thought he was choking ‘to death’ by a tube that was inserted down his throat, reports Metro News.

“I went down for surgery and everything was fine, I was put under but came round and felt like I had a bottle cap in my throat,” says Fenn.

“I thought I was going to die and tried to hold my breath so I would pass out quicker. I then realised I could hear voices, the beep of the machines and a stabbing pressure on my abdomen.

“I was able to figure out what was going on and that I was still in the operation. I couldn’t move, I was paralysed. I tried to open my eyes, scream, and wiggle my fingers and toes.”

Fenn claims he was forced to urinate on the operating table to get the attention of medics, who wasn’t at all aware that he was conscious.

“I was willing any part of me to do something. I made the conscious decision to urinate, it was the only thing I could do,” he says.

After his operation, Fenn told nurses that he remembered what had just happened to him, but they stated that it was ‘just a dream’.

"The next morning I was seen by a doctor who said, 'I'm aware you had some awareness of the operation' but said whatever you do don't google it because I would scare myself.

"Obviously, I immediately looked up what anaesthesia awareness was and found it may be down to medical negligence,” he says.

According to Mirror News, the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has since issued an official apology to Fenn and have compensated him in an out-of-court settlement.

"We are genuinely sorry that Mr Settle's experience was not to the standard which we would wish to deliver to our patients,” said Chief Nurse Brendan Brown.

"Whilst Mr Settle was fully anaesthetised during his procedure, we have completed a full investigation into the circumstances around his sedation and anaesthetic prior to his surgery starting, and shared findings and learning with our teams.

"With the settlement now agreed I would again take the opportunity to again apologise to Mr Settle."

A week after the traumatising operation, Fenn returned to work but has since suffered from post-traumatic stress and flashbacks.

"There was one night when my other half arrived home and I was just sobbing and didn't know who I was,” he says.

"The hospital was denying it and I knew that it had happened, I thought I was going mental."