Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars at Risk for Serious Illness and Misdiagnosis
Lung disease for present day war veterans is very much a part of everyday life. While the Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense stand by their declaration that there is a low disease risk as a result of exposure, the numbers tell a very different story. For our Nation’s heroes the battle for a proper diagnosis and treatment can be costly and nearly impossible without advanced directives in place.
The Foundation of a Diagnosis
In all of my years practicing law and working with some of the brightest minds in medicine and in the legal realm, it never ceases to amaze me how often the geniuses of our era stick their heads in the proverbial sand. The first step to identifying and creating a treatment plan for any medical ailment is naturally to recognize the problem exists in the first place.
Despite record numbers of our veterans reporting pulmonary complications following their tours of duty, the VA and the medical community are largely resistant to identifying, diagnosing or treating these conditions. Regardless if this is due to lack of knowledge or lack of resources – A medical misdiagnosis is a grave injustice for all.
Leading Symptoms of Lung Disease Stemming from Military Duty
- Chronic cough
- New or worsening asthma
- General breathing complications
- Low blood oxygen levels
- Constrictive Bronchiolitis
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
These symptoms and the resulting medical complications can stem from a variety of causes, all of which are very common during military duty; you will be hard pressed to find a veteran that has not routinely encountered some or all of these conditions.
- Trash pits – open burning
- Metal particulates in the air
- Sand, dust particulates
- Bacteria and fungi in air
- Other combat related air quality issues
The first step toward recognizing and developing a treatment strategy for these combat related illnesses is actually quite simple to implement! A lung biopsy is necessary to properly diagnose a pulmonary disorder, but without justification, a high risk procedure will not be authorized. If a lung biopsy cannot be authorized initially, some simple procedures can yield preliminary results that may be sufficient to warrant a lung biopsy.
- Track run time before and after deployment (Recommend 2 miles)
- Track spirometer readings before and after deployment
- Allergy related asthma tests and other allergens
- Airway inflammation ID by fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing
- Impulse oscillometry testing for measuring pulmonary reactivity
- Specialized stress tests
If you or a loved one suspect pulmonary complications following a tour of duty and are not receiving adequate treatment or diagnoses, you must call my offices today.
As your Ohio medical malpractice attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373