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New BBC report makes alarming revelations about UK lung disease

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Medical Negligence on Thursday, March 10th, 2022

A report from new charity Asthma and Lung UK (ALUK) has revealed the shocking extent of lung disease in the UK.

Previously known as Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, the charity’s research found that 500,000 people had died from pneumonia, asthma and other respiratory conditions over a seven-year period – the highest death rate in Western Europe.

Another study, published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine in November 2021, found that hospital admission rates soared from 1,535 to 3,143 per 100,000 people between 1999 and 2019 (prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic). The primary causes were found to include influenza or pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory disease, as well as other acute lower respiratory infections. It also found that Turkey was the only country with a higher death rate and that those living in Finland were three times less likely to perish from lung disease.

Poor air quality a likely suspect

A likely cause of this phenomenon is air pollution, which is thought to be responsible for 36,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, the charity continued. Seven thousand of these deaths occur in Scotland.

ALUK also found a link between respiratory disease and poverty, with those living in the most deprived areas seven times more likely to die of lung disease than their richest counterparts. This was attributed to damp housing conditions, air pollution and cigarette smoke.

You can suffer from lung disease even if you don’t live in deprived conditions. For example, those working in unventilated environments, or who are not provided the right equipment in situations where air quality has been compromised, could also fall prey to lung conditions.

A BBC article covering ALUK’s research reported that the Department of Health said improving the lives of people of lung conditions was a “clinical priority”.

A national scandal

Sarah Woolnough, ALUK’s chief executive, branded the findings a “national scandal”, adding: “The state of lung health in the UK is shameful, with the numbers of hospital admissions increasing, and air pollution causing people to develop lung conditions or making existing ones worse.”

Don’t stay silent

If you, a friend or a relative believe you may have grounds for a lung disease claim that is not your fault, then get in touch with our Medical Negligence department at [email address].  We can work with you to secure the compensation you deserve.

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