If a doctor misdiagnoses your adult onset asthma, and you experience a severe asthma attack some time later, contact a personal injury lawyer about bringing a medical malpractice case against the doctor. Although the flu virus may be life-threatening for some individuals, such as the elderly or very young, it may take one or two weeks before they succumb to the virus. However, asthma has the potential to be immediately life-threatening or deadly if it advances to an attack that blocks the air passages to your lungs. Here's what adult onset asthma is, why asthma can be deadly and how an attorney may assist you with your case.
What's Adult Onset Asthma and How Is It Different From the Flu?
Although most people develop asthma as children, some individuals experience asthma as adults. Adult onset asthma may show up when you're exposed to things that give you allergies, such as dust and cats. Exercise, stress and even dry air may be causes of asthma.
While adult onset asthma and the flu virus can cause a number of similar symptoms, such as wheezing and tiredness, the symptoms produced by asthma may occur frequently, or at any time, and aren't contagious to anyone. The flu tends to be more prevalent between October and May and may be contagious. Additionally, treating the flu virus is much different from treating asthma.
Treatments for the flu virus usually include taking antiviral medications and fever reducers to make you feel better, which is usually in one or two weeks after you become sick. To treat asthma, you generally need to take long-term medications that control and prevent your symptoms. Asthma usually causes the tissues of the respiratory system to narrow and flame up. The medications help keep the tissues from completely closing up, which can lead to an asthma attack.
If you do experience an asthma attack, you would need to take quick-relief medications that immediately relax and open up your constricted air passages. A lack of air may cause a number of severe problems, such as difficulty speaking and unresponsiveness. If your doctor didn't ask you about all of your symptoms or perform the correct tests during your exam, it's critical that you allow a personal injury attorney to represent you.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help You?
A personal injury attorney may want to know if your doctor used the right diagnostic tests during your exam. Many doctors use tests to determine the cause of their patients' respiratory problems, especially if the patients have symptoms of asthma. The tests are designed to diagnose asthma or rule out other respiratory illnesses by measuring how much air you can inhale and exhale out of your lungs. The tests may also reveal how fast you can empty air out of your lungs.
For instance, spirometry tests are used to measure how much air you can exhale before and after using a bronchodilator. A bronchodilator releases medicine that opens up your airways. If you blow more air into the spirometry device after using a bronchodilator, you may have asthma.
The doctor should also ask about your past and present medical histories to see if you have problems with your respiratory system. For example, some people who develop asthma experience allergies. The doctor should also ask how long you experienced your symptoms and when they first occurred. If the doctor didn't consider any of these things during your initial visit, an attorney may document it in your case file.
Once a personal injury attorney has enough evidence for your case, they may present it to the doctor's insurance company or take your case to court. An attorney may discuss how they plan to pursue your particular case in greater detail when you meet with them.
For more information about your case, contact a personal injury attorney today.