Occupational Asthma Reference

Waldburger R, Hofmann M, Ruegger M, Peak flow profile and expert testimony. The significance of peakflow self assessment for pneumological expert testimony. [German], Schweiz Med Wochenschr, 1992;122:1070-1078,

Keywords: oa, $, peak flow, isocyanate, case report

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Martin Ruegger, Martin Ruegger

Martin Ruegger, Luzern Martin Ruegger

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Quantitative assessment of pulmonary obstructive diseases, such as asthma, may be difficult because of variability of obstruction. This is particularly true with regard to expert evidence pulmonary physicians deliver to insurances. Severity of obstruction, degree of impairment by an obstructive ventilatory defect, and temporal relationship of bronchial obstruction to exposure, may not be detected by physiological measurements in the pulmonary function laboratory. Much of the expert's opinion on these matters will depend on the credibility he assigns to the insured individual. The insured individual, in the other hand, has no other proof available than the description of his complaints, which puts him at a disadvantage. Serial peak flow measurements can be instrumental in clarifying such issues. They add an objective dimension to the case history. Six cases in which expert evidence was commissioned by insurances are described in detail, to exemplify how the thinking of the experts was modified by peak flow profiles. The greater usefulness of serial peak flow measurements in occupational asthma is emphasized and problems that may arise with peak flow measurements are discussed

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