What is COPD?

According to medical research and reporting, millions of people around the nation have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In Pennsylvania, more than 660,000 people are afflicted with the respiratory disorder. Although COPD has become a frequently discussed topic in the media, many people remain unaware of the risks, symptoms, and other factors related to this disease. Additionally, some workers may not realize that their line of work makes them more susceptible to developing COPD.

Who Gets Diagnosed With COPD?

COPD is a condition that makes breathing difficult because the lungs gradually lose their natural elasticity. Without physical and occupational therapy, surgery, or other medical interventions, COPD tends to progress through a person’s life. Eventually, COPD can become a contributing factor to a patient’s death.

The most common risk factor linked to COPD is smoking. Second-hand smoke has also been related to COPD, although occasionally breathing in second-hand smoke in passing would be unlikely to create COPD. Many occupations also expose workers to airborne pathogens, such as chemicals, asbestos, fumes, dust, and gases. Eventually, the internal build-up from these dangerous substances can result in symptoms of COPD. Workers that are most susceptible to COPD include:

  • Textile workers
  • Ceramic workers
  • Welders
  • Agriculture workers
  • Miners
  • Construction workers
  • Petroleum workers
  • Dock workers
  • Food processing workers

Potential Signs of COPD

Workers in any field that are exposed to questionable airborne substances should be on the lookout for red flags that could indicate the start of COPD or another chronic respiratory illness. Some indicators of COPD include difficulty breathing, constant coughing and wheezing, asthma attacks, and intense levels of fatigue. Because these symptoms can mimic other conditions, such as emphysema and lung cancer, employees who suspect they may have COPD should see a trained physician.

Can Employees Claim COPD for Workers’ Compensation?

Because COPD is a prevalent disease, many employees who are diagnosed wonder if they can receive Workers’ Compensation benefits to recover. The answer is not always clear-cut, as many factors will be taken into consideration, including whether the worker smoked and how frequently. Speaking with a Workers’ Compensation attorney can help you receive a better indication of whether the diagnosis of COPD occurred at work and review your options for the next best steps in filing a claim.

Bucks County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Employees Diagnosed with COPD Receive Compensation

If you are suffering from a respiratory illness that developed at work, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Contact the Bucks County Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. today by calling 888-999-1962 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.