The Incident is one of eleven films that make up the body of work Conscious.
It aims to depict the experience of this particular incidence of anaesthetic awareness. ‘Most studies ’ suggest that between 1 and 2 people per 1,000 anaesthetics experience some kind of
Awareness’ . Every awareness case is different, some are far more severe than others, they can result in full awareness with pain, whilst some may result in memories of events in the operating room, and some may not manifest for many years until a sudden flush of recollection comes to the patient. Some cases of awareness result in the patient becoming aware of other complications during the surgery, which is the case within this film. Some of the imagery may not be easy to watch and may not bear relevance to everyone’s experience, however it is intended to relate directly to, and produced in consultation with the actual testimony given in this case.
The intention of this film is to ask those who have had any experience of anaesthetic awareness to consider, recall and record it in whatever level of detail they are comfortable revealing. It may be that by reading an experience others may find reassurance. It may be that recalling the experience is too painful or difficult, or perhaps the process of simply saying so may spark discussions that may lead to some comfort.
Comments and testimony can be recorded at anaestheticawareness.info
Conscious is the name of the project hosted at anaestheticawareness.info.
In it I have produced a series of films that retell the experience of one person’s anaesthetic awareness. The aim of the project is that these films will act as the catalyst for discourse amongst those who have experienced anaesthetic awareness, providing a conduit for valuable connections, potentially leading to a support community for those who are experiencing difficulties directly or indirectly connected to their experience.
Running alongside the online community project is the physical presence of this work. In this strand Conscious becomes an installation where trainee medical students can directly interact with the work by being shown films in designed spaces. These depict the environments connected to the anaesthetic awareness case represented in the films, the aim of this is to provide a visual, aural and experiential educational experience for the students, with the intention of promoting a better understanding of the issues amongst healthcare practitioners and, hopefully, reducing its future incidence. Invited participants are then asked to record their experience of the material directly at anaestheticawareness.info, thereby creating a connection between the two audiences, and potentially opening up new lines of discourse that would otherwise never exist.