Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Often known as COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the name given to a collection of lung diseases which could include bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.
Often seen as a “smokers” disease, because it is the most common cause of COPD, it can also be contracted by prolonged exposure to certain dusts in the workplace.
If you or a member of your family has contracted COPD as a result of poor ventilation within your working environment then you have the right to make a compensation claim. Accident Advice Helpline have extensive experience in seeking compensation for people just like you. Our 30 second test could quickly tell you whether your claim is valid, and we’re available to support you throughout the entire process.
Symptoms of COPD
As a chronic disease, the symptoms of COPD are likely to worsen over time and might include:
- Breathlessness, especially when the person is particularly active
- A persistent cough with phlegm
- Frequent and persistent chest infections
Causes of COPD
COPD occurs when the lungs become irritated and inflamed as a result of foreign bodies (such as smoke) which in turn cause scarring. Over time, these scars lead to permanent changes within the lungs. The walls thicken and lose their elasticity. As a result, the lungs are unable to work as well as they once might, and start to produce more phlegm which leads to persistent coughing and means that the lungs are less likely to fight off common infections.
As much as smoking is often to blame, it has been proven that the inhalation of fumes and dust can also cause the same damage. This means that many cases of COPD could have been caused by the environment in which a person works. Such working environments might include stonemasonry, construction and pottery and ceramics, as well as any other environment with a heavy amount of dust.
Treatment of COPD
The main treatment for COPD is to try and manage symptoms, as much of the damage is irreversible. Medication, such as inhalers or anti-inflammatory drugs may help to reduce the symptoms.
However, COPD is not a disease which can be cured, but must be controlled. For those whose own behaviour did not cause the COPD, there is a feeling of frustration – especially if their employer should have taken steps to safeguard them. In this instance they can make a compensation claim.
Making a Compensation Claim
In order to make a compensation claim, it is necessary to prove that your employer should have protected you. In the event that they could have done more, a compensation claim could help to provide financial support for you and your family as you live with COPD. Give Accident Advice Helpline a call to find out whether you have a case.
Date Published: 21st August 2013
Author: David Brown