Pleural Effusion Injury Lawyers in Austin
Fluid Buildup in the Lungs
Pleural effusion is a disease that affects the lungs. It is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. This condition can cause fluid buildup in the lungs which results in chest pain, cough, shortness of breath and fever. Why is a pleural effusion dangerous? A healthy body will produce something called pleural fluid in order to lubricate the lining of the lungs. This lubrication is necessary for healthy lungs, but too much of that fluid can actually "drown" the lungs.
There are two major types of pleural effusions. The first is a transudative effusion. This lung fluid leak is caused by pressure or low protein in the blood vessels. Those who suffer from congestive heart failure may experience this form of effusion. The other is exudative effusion, and it is caused by blocked blood vessels. These blood vessels can become blocked because of inflammation, an injury or an adverse reaction to a drug.
How do I know if I have an effusion?
If you experience chest pain, persisting cough or irregular breathing patterns then it may be time you saw your doctor. Be thorough in your explanation of the symptoms that you are suffering from, so that your doctor has the best chance of a correct diagnosis. Your doctor may perform a CT scan, chest x-ray, pleural fluid test or a chest ultrasound. Doctors will first attempt to rule out other, less serious diseases and conditions before diagnosing a patient with a pleural effusion. Remember, your lungs always have fluid in its lining. The trouble is with excessive buildup of that fluid.
There are also different types of fluid that can drain into the pleural cavity: serous fluid, blood, chyle or pus. Mucus and saliva are examples of serous fluids. They are typically harmless, but can be harmful in excess. Serous fluid is normal pleural fluid that lubricates the lining of the lungs. Blood in the lungs is dangerous, and is also called hemothrax. If enough blood accumulates there, then it can put dangerous pressure on the trachea, which can limit blood flow to the heart. Finally, pus buildup in the lungs is a type of bacterial infection, like pneumonia.
Could your pleural condition have been caused by exposure to asbestos? Your doctor will likely ask you questions about your occupation and potential past exposure. For example, if you have lived in an older house for some time, then you may have contracted an asbestos-related disease. If you worked or currently work in an industrial occupation, then you may have developed an effusion due to asbestos exposure. Occupation is the most common way that asbestos affects individuals. Pleural effusions can be signs of a greater disease, such as cancer. Diseases like lung cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma make up 75 percent of cancerous pleural effusions.
If you were wrongfully exposed to asbestos at the workplace or in some other capacity, then you may be able to file a lawsuit. Asbestos was phased out in the late 1980s in the United States when the full extent of its health effects was discovered. Previously, the substance was highly used in industrial and manufacturing capacities because it was durable and affordable. Talk to your doctor if you are becoming concerned about chest pain, coughing or your pneumonia. Catching this disease in its early stages could give patients a better chance of recovery. At Zinda Law Group, we represent those who have developed life-threatening diseases due to asbestos exposure. To learn if you or a loved one qualify for a lawsuit, please contact a Personal Injury Attorney from our office today.