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GPs incorrectly diagnosing work-related asthma

Posted in: Industrial Deafness and Disease Medical Negligence 

Recent research from the University of Birmingham has found that GPs are often failing to correctly diagnose work related asthma in patients.

One in ten cases of adult asthma are caused by work related factors, but the research found that GPs are not correctly identifying this in around 75% of patients.

According to the research, around 3000 people a year develop asthma because of exposure to materials at work. Where this is diagnosed early, patients have a good chance of a complete recovery. However, two thirds of patients will never make a full recovery because delays in their diagnosis mean they do not receive the appropriate specialist advice quickly enough.

Dr Gareth Walters, the lead author, said:

“Most workers with new asthma symptoms present to their GPs first, so it is important for health care professionals working in primary care to recognise when these symptoms might be caused by or related to work. Currently, occupational asthma is very costly to the NHS and to society — and an early diagnosis can prevent ongoing debilitating symptoms, time off work and financial loss for the worker.”


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