Asbestosis Lawyers in Austin
Illnesses from Asbestos Exposure
Asbestosis is a serious medical condition caused by exposure to the harmful substance, asbestos. The condition is inflammatory and fibrotic in nature. Inflammatory means that it harms the vascular tissues by inflaming them. This causes damage and infection. Fibrotic refers to the fact that asbestosis causes excessive connective tissue in the lungs. Essentially, this scars the lung and causes shortness of breath, cough and chest pain. There are two main ways that an individual can become exposed to asbestos fibers. First of all, they can be exposed to a lot of asbestos within a short period of time or they can be exposed to asbestos in smaller increments over a long period of time.
Those who develop asbestosis are at risk for certain cancers, particularly mesothelioma Asbestosis is a condition that deals solely with interstitial fibers rather than pleural fibrosis or the development of plaque. Like mesothelioma, those who have contracted asbestosis will likely not notice symptoms until years after initial exposure. This is referred to as long “latency period.” Rather than sudden and acute, the symptoms will develop slowly and steadily increase over time. Symptoms of asbestosis are strikingly similar to other medical conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.
Restrictive Ventilatory Defect
Doctors and researchers have found the most common thread in the case of asbestosis is restrictive ventilator defects. The lungs actually decrease in volume, which refers to “total lung capacity.” When the walls of the lungs thicken due to inflammation, it can restrict the lungs significantly. In some severe cases, the lung can stiffen so drastically that it actually causes the right side of the heart to fail. Asbestosis can also cause something called decreased diffusing capacity.
This condition limits the lungs’ ability to get gas in and out of the blood. To learn if they have the disease, patients will have to visit their doctors for chest x-rays and blood testing. If doctors are able to obtain imaging evidence consistent with asbestos, all other causes have been ruled out and especially if the individual was employed in an occupation that dealt with asbestos, the individual will likely be diagnosed with the disease.
Treatment Options & Possibility of Legal Action
Like cancer, there is no complete cure for asbestosis, only treatment options. One treatment option is oxygen therapy. Increasing a patient’s oxygen will promote much-needed cell metabolism and tissue oxygenation. Asbestosis significantly impairs a patient’s ability to breathe, therefore, oxygen to the lungs may be necessary. Asbestosis may cause fluid to leak into the lungs, which may necessitate physiotherapy to drain it out. Medications and other vaccines may also be necessary, depending on doctor recommendation. If asbestosis develops into mesothelioma, the patient is at a serious risk of death. Unfortunately, 75 percent of those who are diagnosed with this disease die within a year.
Asbestos-related litigation is the costliest type of litigation the United States has ever seen. Those who have contracted asbestosis, mesothelioma or another disease associated with asbestos exposure should get in touch with an attorney immediately. Some of those other diseases include pleural plaques, and pleural effusions. Asbestos-related diseases are aggressive and need to be combatted with serious medical efforts. The United States has significantly cracked down on the use of asbestos in industry. It has been largely phased out. Those workers who are still exposed or were exposed in the past could be entitled to a lawsuit. A successful lawsuit can result in compensation for medical costs that can be extremely expensive. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today and speak with a Personal Injury Attorney.