Mesothelioma Lawyer

Pleural Effusions

Pleural Effusions

Pleural effusions can be caused by a number of diseases. Among them are any lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos. A pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space that is caused by irritation of either or both pleural membranes that line the lungs and chest wall. As the fluid builds up it compresses the nearby lung tissue. When the air sacs in the lung are compressed they cannot bring oxygen into the lungs, or get rid of carbon dioxide until they are reinflated.

Pleural effusions often resolve by themselves as the body gradually reabsorbs the fluid. However, a couple complications can arise. Because the nearby portion of the lung is squeezed closed, mucus that is trapped there can become infected resulting in pneumonia. If the fluid in the pleural space does not reabsorb, it can continue to build up, or become infected and cause pain.

Treatment for pleural effusions may require draining the fluid either with a needle or tube. Antibiotics can prevent or treat infection both in the pleural space and in the lungs. And breathing treatments with bronchodilators, deep breaths and coughing help to reopen the lungs’ airways and sacs.

When asbestos exposure is known or suspected, pleural effusions can indicate a potential for future asbestos-related diseases and should prompt further diagnostic testing.

If you have been exposed to asbestos and have experienced pleural effusions or other asbestos-related symptoms, please contact Brown | Kiely, LLP, the experienced mesothelioma lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. to learn more about your rights.