AWAKE During Surgery: Exploring Relational Ethics in the Operating Room

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Jennifer Baumbusch, PhD, RN


Dr. Sandra Lauck, PhD, RN,
Dr. Patricia (Paddy) Rodney, PhD, RN,
Dr. John Webb, MD, FRCPC
Dr. David Wood, MD, FRCPC, FACC, FSCCT
Jennifer Gibson, PhD(c), MSN, RN


Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)


Medical technology is transforming the delivery of healthcare services in Canada, including clinical care in the operating room. While some procedures in this setting have been performed with awake/conscious patients for some time (eg. Caesarian sections), this approach is now moving into new, non-traditional areas, such as cardiac surgery with older adults. The Transcatherter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is a minimally invasive procedure, which is beginning to be performed on a subset of patients who are awake. As this is a relatively new procedure, little is known about the patient’s experience of being awake during the procedure and even less is understood about how healthcare providers attend to relational ethics (ethical actions in relationships) within the patient-provider interactions in the operation room environment. The goal of this study is to inform clinical care and associated policies by examining the interactions between healthcare professionals and frail, older adults, who are awake during the TAVI procedure.