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Today (28 February) is Rare Disease Day, which is aimed at raising awareness and generating change for people living with a rare disease, their families and carers.
Over 300 million people across the world live with rare diseases. In addition to having to deal with their condition, they often face issues such as misdiagnosis, treatment inequality and isolation from others.
At Novum Law, our specialist industrial disease team support people who have been diagnosed with diseases caused by exposure to asbestos or harmful substances at work. Asbestosis is one such disease. On Rare Disease Day 2023, specialist asbestos disease solicitor Andrew Stinchcombe explains the condition in more detail.
Asbestosis is a disease which develops after someone has inhaled asbestos dust or fibres. The tiny fibres lodge in the air sacs within the lungs, causing scarring and hardening. This makes it difficult to breathe as the lungs cannot hold as much air and less oxygen can get into the bloodstream.
Asbestosis typically takes around 30 years to develop and is closely related to the amount of asbestos someone has been exposed to.
This means that people who have been exposed to a large amount of asbestos over a long period of time are more likely to develop asbestosis. People who are particularly likely to be affected are those who have previously worked in industrial jobs such as manufacturing, construction, plumbing, shipbuilding and the railways, where asbestos was heavily used throughout the 20th century.
Symptoms of asbestosis include chest pain, shortness of breath, a persistent cough or wheezy chest, and fatigue. It can be a debilitating disease and unfortunately can sometimes be fatal.
Being diagnosed with a rare disease like asbestosis can be very upsetting. It can cause someone to feel lonely as they struggle with a condition that is not well known or understood by others.
Raising awareness of asbestosis can help encourage people who think they might have the condition to go to their GP for a diagnosis, which means they can then access proper treatment and support.
Getting an asbestosis diagnosis also means that patients can seek expert legal advice from a specialist asbestos disease solicitor who may be able to investigate their job history and help them secure asbestosis compensation.
“Better understanding of asbestosis can be quite literally life-changing, leading to earlier detection and improved quality of life for patients and their loved ones.
“If you are experiencing any asbestosis symptoms, it’s important to speak to a GP as soon as possible, and you should also contact a legal expert to discuss making a compensation claim.
“Compensation can go towards ensuring that you and your loved ones can access the care you need, whether that’s to cover lost earnings, help around the home and garden, or specialist medical treatment. Don’t leave it too late: you usually only have 3 years after diagnosis to start a claim and get the justice you deserve.”
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestosis, you might be entitled to compensation.
Our expert, compassionate legal team can help on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis and have a strong track record of securing maximum compensation in even the most difficult of cases.
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