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Q: I’ve had asthma all my life, but it’s been under control since I became an adult. I’ve recently moved into a new office at work, though, and since then I have had several severe attacks of asthma. One attack required an ambulance ride to the ER. What shou

A:

A thorough medical evaluation should be your top priority. Make an appointment with your family doctor, allergist, or respiratory specialist today.

Because we aren’t doctors, we cannot presume to diagnose your condition (and certainly not on the basis of the brief description here). It is certainly possible, though, that exposure to some environmental factor in your new office has reactivated your childhood asthma. You will want to keep very detailed notes about when and where you have difficulty breathing and the severity of your episodes.

You might also want to compare notes with other workers in your office. A toxic workplace can have hidden respiratory dangers caused by volatile chemicals, particulate matter, molds, gases, or inadequate ventilation. These hazards to safe breathing are invisible and often undetectable without sophisticated scientific equipment. Only after they cause occupational disease will it become apparent that something is wrong.

Yes, you can get Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits when a childhood disease returns

Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania provides medical and wage benefits for victims of occupational illness, as well as for people who suffer on-the-job injuries. Now, workers’ compensation insurers often try to fight claims by saying the illness really isn’t work-related or that it started before you were employed. In this particular case, for instance, you should expect some opposition to your claim based on your childhood history of asthma.

When a toxic workplace causes a prior illness to return or intensify, though, this is a legitimate reason to file a claim. If your office had a safe and healthy working environment, you wouldn’t be having these medical problems.

Schmidt Kramer’s workers’ compensation lawyers often handle claims in which a client’s prior illness has returned because of workplace conditions. To schedule a free consultation about your case, call us today at 717-888-8888 or 888-476-0807 toll-free. During the call, you can also request a FREE copy of our introductory brochure, Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured at Work?

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