Asbestosis Compensation Solicitors - Injury Claim Lawyers - Australia
LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
Asbestos related diseases have been recognised for more than a century however it is only since 1991 that the use of asbestos and asbestos products has been outlawed in Australia. Due to the long period of time passing (the latency period) between exposure to asbestos fibres and development of obvious symptoms, which can be as long as 50 years after exposure, it is anticipated that new diagnoses of asbestos related diseases will continue to rise until after the year 2020. Our asbestosis compensation solicitors deal with all types of asbestos related disease including compensation for mesothelioma, pleural disease and asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis. If you believe that you are suffering from an asbestos related disease our asbestosis compensation solicitors are able to arrange for you to be urgently examined by a medical consultant. We are able to provide detailed legal advice and pursue claims on a no win no fee basis. We offer advice at no cost on compensation claims from specialist personal injury lawyers with no further obligation.
Asbestosis is a condition of pulmonary fibrosis that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Pulmonary fibrosis occurs when the lungs fill up with scar tissue, making it difficult to breathe because the lungs do not expand properly and the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide does not occur efficiently.
Asbestos is a mineral that is mined from the ground. When it breaks up, it forms microscopic needle-like fibres that enter the lungs but, because of its shape, it catches on lung tissue and imbeds itself in lung tissue, unable to be coughed back out again. Asbestos was used in many industries until 1975, when it was banned from use in many areas of manufacturing.
The severity of asbestosis depends on the length of the exposure and the amount of asbestos dust breathed in. Often, the asbestos is breathed in during a stint at a job in a naval shipyard, construction site, or manufacturing site and the symptoms of the disease begin about twenty years after the time of exposure. Workers often got the disease; however, workers’ families also breathed in the dust when the worker brought home fibers on their skin, clothing and hair. Wives who washed their husbands’ work clothes were susceptible to the disease.
There are several pulmonary diseases related to asbestos exposure besides asbestosis. These include malignant melanoma, pleural effusion, pleural plaques and non-pulmonary asbestosis. The incidence of these diseases should begin to decrease now that fewer workers are exposed to the mineral.
The main symptoms of asbestosis include chest pain, which can be sharp in nature, cough, which is usually dry, and shortness of breath with exerting oneself that tends to worsen as the disease progresses. There can be a feeling of tightness in the chest that is not sharp, fingernail abnormalities with the finding of thick, curved nails and clubbing of the fingernails, which a thickening and enlargement of the ends of the nails so the fingers look like clubs.
When attempting to diagnose asbestosis, the doctor listens to the lungs and may hear fine rales or crackles in the lungs. The fibrous changes can show up on chest x-ray or CT scan of the lungs as streaks of white fibrous tissue mixed in with normal lung tissue. A Gallium lung scan can show evidence of disease and pulmonary function studies, in which the patient breathes into a tube, will show “restrictive lung disease” or lungs that appear smaller than they really are.
There is no cure for asbestosis other than staying away from asbestos as soon as you know you have the disease. There are ways to treat the symptoms that include percussion of the chest, drainage of pockets of fluid in the chest cavity, vibration of the chest to remove excess fluids from the chest and inhalers that are used to open up the bronchial tree so that air moves more easily. Oxygen given portably can be used to treat those patients who need oxygen at all times. In severe cases, a patient may be a candidate for a lung transplant.
The outcome of the disease depends on the length and amount of your exposure. If your exposure to asbestos stops, the disease progresses more slowly. If you are a smoker, you must stop smoking because this will decrease the progression of the disease.
LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958