Awake , a new movie currently out in theaters is giving nosocomephobes (people who fear hospitals) one more thing to freak out about - Anesthesia Awareness: a phenomenon that "occurs when patients wake up during surgery because they are underanesthetized. In real life, these periods are generally brief. But the patient can indeed feel pain, ranging from minor to unendurable." (NY Times)
According to the New York Times, anesthesiologists aren't so thrilled with the makers of the movie who hope to “do to surgery what ‘Jaws’ did to swimming in the ocean.” While I can see the monetary and egotistical drive to aim for such a thing, I can see where doctors are coming from since people need surgery when they're in ill health in a way that they don't necessary need to get drunk at a beach party and skinny dip off Amity Island.
Dr. Daniel J. Cole, Anesthesiologist, is one doctor who, before seeing the movie, was hopeful that its impact on the public wouldn't be a complete headache for his profession. He was optimistic that Awake would raise the public's awareness of intraoperative awareness.
Upon seeing the movie he had this to say about the phenomenon's dramatization:
“What happened in that operating room,” he said, “was so far removed from reality that I hope it doesn’t leave the American public with the idea that this is what really goes on.”