As we have written in previous issues, lawyers in our firm are actively investigating numerous cases of severe lung disease caused by exposure to hazardous dusts, fumes and chemicals. There are many different ways to describe a severe lung disease condition, and understanding a severe lung disease condition can be confusing. Terms to be aware of can include pulmonary fibrosis (or lung scarring), interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, pneumoconiosis, restrictive lung disease or obstructive lung disease.
In severe lung cases, a patient’s physician may perform a biopsy of the lungs in order to assess the disease. In the case of a lung transplant, the patient’s diseased lungs will be discarded unless the patient requests they be preserved. Critically, if the patient believes exposure to a hazardous substance caused their severe lung disease, the patient must request the sampled lung tissue (or in the case of a transplant, the entire lungs) be preserved for further testing.
Physicians are often more concerned about diagnosing the disease, as opposed to determining with specificity which substance (or illness) may have caused it. What’s more, assessing what caused a patient’s lung disease requires specific testing for certain types of hazardous substances. This specific testing for the presence of certain substances is rarely ever performed by the pathology lab.
Our firm has access to experts who can examine lung tissue to determine whether a hazardous substance could have caused the patient’s lung disease. Again, if you, a loved-one or one of your clients has, or may have, a severe lung condition and receives a lung transplant, has a lung biopsy performed, or has a tissue sample obtained from the lungs, they need to ask both their physician and their pathology lab to preserve as much of the lung tissue as they can for future testing.
Parker Miller, a lawyer in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section, is leading our investigation of severe lung disease cases. If you have any questions about severe lung disease, contact Parker at 800-898-2034 or by email at Parker.Miller@beasleyallen.com.
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