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Anesthesia Errors and Iowa Medical Malpractice Claims

Posted By Farl Greene - 08.28.19

Anesthesiologists are crucial when it comes to surgeries and medical procedures.  If you’ve had surgery an Iowa hospital, it’s likely an anesthesiologist was there to make the experience less painful. However, anesthesiologists are people, and they can make mistakes just like other doctors.  If you or a loved one have suffered serious, permanent injury from an anesthesiologist’s negligence, there are a few things you need to know about anesthesia errors and medical malpractice.

Types of Anesthesia Errors

There are many serious injuries that can happen from an anesthesiologist’s negligence.  One of the most common is brain damage or death from the reduction of oxygen (hypoxia) or complete lack of oxygen (anoxia) to the brain.

While the patient is under general anesthesia during surgery or another medical procedure, they are usually not able to breathe on their own.  A breathing tube is placed in the patient’s airway and their oxygen levels are regulated by the anesthesiologist.  If the anesthesiologist fails to monitor these levels, brain damage can occur.

Other types of anesthesia medical errors that can lead to serious injury include:

  • Giving the wrong dosage to the patient — either too much or too little
  • Giving the wrong type of anesthesia – this can be a serious issue if the patient has allergies to a particular type of anesthesia
  • Harmful prescription drug interactions with anesthesia

Who Is At Fault For Your Iowa Medical Malpractice Injuries?

You may be wondering who is at fault for an anesthesia error – the doctor or the hospital?  Most people would assume that both the hospital and the anesthesiologist would be at fault.

However, this can be a more complicated question than you would think.  Not all anesthesiologists work directly for the hospitals they practice in.  If the anesthesiologist is an independent contractor, you would need to sue them, not the hospital where the error occurred.  This can be a very complex issue and is best left to an experienced Iowa medical malpractice attorney to determine.

How Long Do I Have to Get Justice For My Injuries?

If you or a loved one have been permanently injured because of an anesthesia error, you have a limited amount of time to get compensation for your injuries.  Iowa law requires you to either settle your case or file a lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury.  This is known as the statute of limitations.

Those two years can go by quickly, so it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable Iowa medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.  A lawyer will need to review your medical records and determine the next steps in your claim.

If you would like a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our experienced Iowa medical malpractice attorneys, contact RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.

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