What are pleural plaques?

Pleural plaques represent a benign lung scarring condition on the outer lining of the lungs caused by inhalation of asbestos dust and fibres. In the majority of cases there are no symptoms. Diagnosis is often made during other medical investigations and can sometimes be found alongside other asbestos related conditions such as lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening.

Pleural plaques are an indication of asbestos exposure and many sufferers feel anxious they might develop another asbestos condition such as mesothelioma which is an aggressive incurable form of lung cancer caused by asbestos.

Compensation for pleural plaques was removed in the UK by an English court case in 2007 however later reinstated under Scots law by Scottish Parliament legislation.

Sufferers of pleural plaques should remain vigilant in terms of monitoring their health and seek medical opinion if they believe there is any deterioration in their condition which could represent a further asbestos illness. Many GP’s undertake regular screening and health checks of pleural plaques patients to detect early any signs of another asbestos condition.

Underlying Indications your condition could have deteriorated should be checked with your GP and might include;

  • Breathlessness and tightness across the chest
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Chest, back and shoulder pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Frequent infections such as recurring pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Fatigue

Have you been diagnosed with pleural plaques within the last three years or undergone review of your pleural plaque or other asbestos related condition? Health and personal circumstances over time are likely to change and it is important you do not miss out on any rightful entitlement, compensation or Government benefits.

Talk to us today about your asbestos related concerns regardless of any previous legal or medical opinion you might have had.

Remember – Scotland and Ireland have retained legislation to enable pleural plaque sufferers to recover compensation. Call us today if you have been exposed to asbestos during employment in Scotland or whilst employed for a Scottish registered company anywhere in the world.

Pleural plaques are closely associated to the condition of pleural thickening and often there is a fine line in interpreting which condition is present. Whilst one expert might be of the opinion pleural plaques only are present another might interpret medical evidence quite differently.

The truth is many people miss out on the opportunity to claim compensation and benefits due to misunderstandings regarding their condition and symptoms. Call us today on FREEPHONE 0808 164 7740.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is available to sufferers of pleural thickening but not for pleural plaques. It is important any pleural plaques diagnosis is fully explored with your medical team and you mention all symptoms and any health issues concerning you no matter how insignificant they might presently appear.

In England, under certain circumstances it might be possible to obtain compensation for pleural plaques if the sufferer is complaining of respiratory problems and has a restrictive lung pattern (as shown on a lung function/spirometry test) and there is no other obvious cause for these problems. Speak to us if you feel this might the case with yourself or you are in any way concerned and we will look into your eligibility to recover compensation.

We are happy to re-visit any cases which have previously been considered by other solicitors and which for a variety of reasons might not have got started.

Firstly is important to recognise there could be many other medical reasons why you are experiencing breathlessness and it is important to have all possible causes properly investigated through your GP.  Generally speaking pleural plaques is a condition not normally associated to such symptoms albeit there are instances where people complain of breathlessness.  A diagnosis of pleural plaques is generally made during investigations into other matters and will be detected on a chest x-ray or Ct scan.

Pleural plaques represent benign scarring on the outside of the lungs which has been brought about by exposure to asbestos fibres which over years has become trapped in the lungs. It is an indication of asbestos exposure and is often found alongside other asbestos related conditions such as pleural thickening, asbestosis and lung cancer.

In the majority of instances pleural plaques will not develop or cause any health issues whatsoever and it is important to remain vigilant and consult your GP if you notice any change or deterioration in your health such as your breathing, chest pains or any significant drop in your energy levels. The onset of symptoms could indicate the existence of another asbestos related condition developing and it might be appropriate to have another chest x-ray or CT scan.

Scotland and England have separate legal jurisdictions and whilst pleural plaques are no longer recognised as a compensable condition in England the situation is different in Scotland. If you were exposed to asbestos dust through your work in Scotland or whilst employed anywhere in the world by a Scottish company and you have pleural plaques, if you have not already done so, you should call us today to see if you are eligible to compensation.

If your pleural plaque condition arises from employment in England on the face of matters it is unlikely you will be eligible to seek compensation. However, if during your medical investigations and in particular any breathing tests undertaken (lung function/spirometry) show you to have a restrictive lung pattern, in the absence of another medical condition, it might be possible to recover compensation on your behalf if your plaques are considered to be ‘extensive’. In these instances, with the aid of your lung function/spirometry report solicitors would be prepared to further investigate your particular case and we would invite you to call us today.

In the majority of instances pleural plaques represent asymptomatic areas of fibrosis found on the parietal pleura and less common on the visceral pleura caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres.  Pleural plaques can sometimes be associated to chest pain and breathing difficulties caused by increased stiffness of the chest wall.

Pleural plaques can grow in size over time and often become calcified and whilst considered benign their existence could be considered a marker for future risk of developing lung cancer or mesothelioma on account of the earlier exposure to asbestos, not the presence of pleural plaques.

In most cases diagnosis is made incidentally by x-ray and CT Scan and is the most commonly diagnosed asbestos-related condition. Sufferers of pleural plaques should consult with their GP if they suspect their condition has changed or deteriorated particularly if they develop shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up blood or a constant cough.

Your solicitors can deal with your enquiry even if you were employed or exposed to asbestos in England, Ireland or Wales

Call us today for free on:

0808 164 7740

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