Anaesthetic Safety: What Do Patients Understand and Expect?


  • Lowri Edwards School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland


Anaesthesiology, Informed consent, Patient expectations, Patient satisfaction, Patient-centered care


• Patients’ satisfaction depends on their prior expectations. These, in turn, are influenced by their understanding of a procedure.

• Provision of adequate pre-operative information can improve patients’ perioperative outcomes.

• Patients’ understanding of information provided may be optimised by employment of techniques including consolidation by multiple team members throughout the pre-operative period and the presence of a companion during consultations.

• A relative lack of awareness surrounding the anaesthesia and the role of the anaesthesiologists are contributing factors towards patient anxiety.

• A careful balance must be obtained between providing enough information to facilitate informed decision-making without causing unnecessary stress.

• Causes of patients’ perioperative anxiety are variable and are often underestimated. Efforts to acknowledge and alleviate this anxiety are known to have therapeutic benefit.

• Patients’ expectations of anaesthesia are influenced by a multitude of individual, social and cultural factors. This highlights the importance of meaningful discussion with the patient and a tailored approach to the pre-operative consenting procedure.

• In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the good health of healthcare workers is increasingly being recognised as a priority for ensuring patient safety.


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How to Cite

Edwards, L. . (2022). Anaesthetic Safety: What Do Patients Understand and Expect?. Trinity Student Medical Journal , 21(1), 8–10. Retrieved from

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