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Pleural Effusion

This is fluid that accumulates in the pleural space because of disease is called a effusion. You may also hear this described as a “benign pleural effusion” if the accumulations of fluid are non malignant. It may precede or predispose to diffuse bilateral pleural thickening.

When microscopic asbestos fibres are breathed in they become lodged in the lungs. The bodies reaction to the lodged fibres can cause “mesothelial cells” to become abnormal and produce large amounts of fluid. It is this overproduction of fluid by the mesothelial cells that causes the pleural effusion.


Some effusions cause chest pains, but many do not cause any symptoms.


Pleural effusion can be diagnosed using chest x-rays and CT scans. It can be treated and you may make a complete recovery. Excess fluid can be removed from the pleural space and an operation known as a “pleurodesis” can be carried out to prevent fluid building up again.

The pleural effusion can be caused by a variety of factors including infections, persistent inflammation or by cancers. However it can be evidence of exposure to asbestos and it may lead to the development of a more serious asbestos related illness such as pleural thickening, asbestosis, mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer.

Pleural Effusion – State Benefits/Compensation

Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) will not pay benefits but civil compensation can be claimed.

Call Philip Thompson, Mark Thompson, Jacqueline Rafferty or Helen Roberts free on 0800 7313982


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