Interactive Occupational Asthma Case Histories

Occupational asthma presents in many ways; it is often difficult to achieve good outcomes for the individual worker and for the workplace. This section is for doctors, nurses and other health professionals who manage workers who might have occupational asthma. You will be asked to select investigations, suggest diagnoses and offer a management plan for different workers. The examples are of original data from workers who have given their consent for their stories to be included here.

There is often confusion between the clinical diagnosis and any diagnosis required for compensation. The rules for compensation vary greatly from country to country; this section will not help with the interpretation of national schemes. Many are reluctant to make a diagnosis of occupational asthma in an individual who does not fulfill the rules for local compensation, for instance in a self-employed worker. The advice about substitution of the causative agent, change of work practice and prognosis are the same whether the individual receives compensation or not.

This section is written by the occupational lung disease unit in Birmingham, UK. We see about 100 workers with possible occupational asthma annually, referred from occupational health services and respiratory clinicians, as well as those sent for legal advice. We are not responsible for compensation assessments and so can investigate and give advice as we think best for the individual worker.

At certain points you will be asked questions about the tests and what you think they signify, to which there is always the option of returning no comment. When you have answered these questions you will see the opinion of this website and answers from other users. Your answer will then become available for others.

Each patient starts with a clinical history. You can then choose which further information and tests you require before answering the questions. Please use the links below to go to the case histories.

Please log in / register so that you can answer the questions.

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