At Asbestos Justice we commonly find that our mesothelioma compensation clients are often referred by their treating medical teams for a procedure known as a “Talc Pleurodesis” (TP).
TP is often used by medical experts to prevent the build up of fluid that is present in patients who suffer with asbestos related mesothelioma. Build up of this fluid is known as a pleural effusion and this is often drained. Post drainage, the space between the thin membrane layers known as the pleura is filled with talc. This acts as a chemical irritant which results in inflammation and fibrosis. In turn, this then closes off the pleural cavity to restrict the fluid’s ability to collect there, thus, hopefully, increasing lung expansion and reducing restricting on the lungs.
It is thought that a patient’s response to the procedure could be an improved predictor of survival when compared to identifying the subtype or stage of the incurable asbestos disease, according to “Annals of Thoracic Surgery.”
The recently published Italian study, prepared by Ottavio Rena and a number of pathologists and thoracic surgeons involved the review of 172 mesothelioma sufferers who underwent what is often considered to be a painful and uncomfortable procedure.
Amazingly, the study reported that 146 of the 172 mesothelioma sufferers reviewed had complete expansion of their lungs when they were discharged from hospital following their TP. Unfortunately, such positive affects did not persist for as many as 3 months later, only 85 patients were found to have fully expanded lungs. The average survival for all patients who were reviewed totalled 11 and a half months.
The author of the study based at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy stated:- “Persistent lung expansion after pleural talc poudrage and absence of fluid recurrence is demonstrated to be a stronger factor in predicting survival than clinical stage and other clinical variables.”
Whilst persistent lung expansion was noted to be the greatest predictor of outcomes for the mesothelioma patients, many other factors were also found to play a role in survival. Sufferers with the non-epithelioid form of mesothelioma, later stage cancer, higher platelet counts and poorer overall health had the shortest prognosis.
In cases where mesothelioma clients have undergone TP, this often results in an inflation of the value of a mesothelioma compensation claim. Awards for sufferers who have undergone TP are usually higher than those who did not undergo the surgery due to the added pain and suffering associated with the procedure.