September 2018

The early symptoms of asbestosis

Asbestos was commonly used in numerous industries, particularly manufacturing and construction, for decades. Many victims of asbestos exposure don’t even realize that they were exposed — until they get sick with an asbestos-related condition.

One of those conditions is asbestosis, or pulmonary fibrosis. Slow-to-develop, asbestosis may not begin to show for decades after someone was last exposed to asbestos.

What causes asbestosis?

Asbestosis, like other diseases of its nature, is caused by inhaling tiny asbestos fibers. In this case, the fibers actually embed themselves in a victim’s lungs. Scar tissue then builds up over the fibers, gradually increasing in depth until the lungs begin to have difficulty operating properly. It is this scar tissue that causes the victim’s health to decline.

You stand an enhanced chance of developing scar tissue that will lead to asbestosis if you are a smoker in addition to a victim of asbestos exposure since smoking also affects your lungs’ ability to expand and contract properly.

What are the early symptoms of asbestosis?

The earliest symptoms may be hard to detect, especially for smokers. By the time the condition starts to evolve, you may notice:

  • A growing sense of restriction in your chest
  • Difficulty breathing, particularly with exertion
  • A chronic, dry cough that can be disruptive
  • Chest pain which is worse with deep breathing
  • A loss of your appetite, which is caused by the discomfort in your chest
  • Finger deformities, which are caused by a lack of oxygen to your extremities

Some victims notice the deformities of their nails and a “clubbing” of their fingertips before they even notice the shortness in their breath, simply because they may have acclimated to their breathing difficulties over time as the condition slowly worsened.

Asbestosis is not curable at this time — but it can be treated and controlled with proper medical care. If exposure to asbestos has caused your illness, you may be eligible for compensation that can help provide you with the care that you need to live a fuller life and take care of your family.

The early symptoms of asbestosis Read More »

How can you prevent a pharmacy error?

You may trust your pharmacist, but it’s a mistake to assume that he or she is infallible. Despite all the precautions that are taken, pharmacy errors happen every day, and some of them can be lethal. Even if a medication error isn’t fatal, it can make you very sick.

What can you do to help prevent pharmacy errors with your medication? There are some important steps that you can take that can help you reduce your risk of a pharmacy error.

1. Know your medications.

Make sure that you know the name of the medication you are supposed to be taking. Check the prescription bottle to see if it is the name you expect. If it isn’t, ask the pharmacist if that’s a generic name or an unfamiliar brand name for what you were expecting.

This can prevent errors that sometimes happen when drugs have similar names. For example, Lamictal and Lamisil are sometimes confused, although one is a drug for epilepsy, and the other is an antifungal.

2. Look at the pills.

If you have received the medication before, make sure that the pills you receive are the same each time you refill the prescription. From time to time, a drug company will switch the design of a pill, but pharmacists usually add a sticker to the bottle to let patients know that it’s still the same medication.

If a pill seems larger, smaller or shaped differently, has letters or numbers you don’t recognize or is a different color than you expect, ask questions.

3. Ask about the dosage.

Find out the dosage and ask for instructions if you aren’t sure how to use a drug. For example, some migraine drugs come with a second dose, but it’s important to wait at least an hour after the first dose before you take the second. Otherwise, you can experience dangerous side-effects.

Essentially, make it your job to check up on the pharmacist. While it’s possible to hold the pharmacist accountable for errors, it’s far better to stay safe.

How can you prevent a pharmacy error? Read More »

Skip to content