When Iowa residents suffer a collapsed lung following an accident or a surgical error, they may experience a number of complications. If it is not treated or properly monitored, it can have an adverse impact on a person's quality of life.
When a lung collapses, air leaks into the space between the lung and the chest wall. As the air pressure builds up in this space, called the pleural space, the lung cannot fully open, causing it to collapse. Usually only a portion of the lung will collapse. Even so, a collapse could lead to respiratory failure, low blood oxygen levels, shock and finally cardiac arrest. In some cases, a collapsed lung can be life-threatening. Those who are suffering from a collapsed lung may have a tight feeling in their chest, a bluish skin tone, a rapid heartbeat and low blood pressure.
While a collapsed lung can be caused by trauma to the chest, medical errors can also be the reason. For example, vigorous CPR can cause damage to the lung. A lung biopsy, where a medical professional inserts a needle into the chest to obtain a small sample of lung tissue, can cause the lung to collapse. Endoscopy procedures can also cause a collapsed lung.
If a surgical error causes a patient to suffer a collapsed lung, he or she may be hospitalized for a longer period of time than originally expected and the post-surgery complications may be more severe. The patient's medical costs may also be higher as a result. If health care practitioners attempt to cover up the mistake or fail to properly monitor the patient after causing a collapsed lung, a medical malpractice lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney might be in order.