Illustrating the Cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a disease that is incurable and can be the basis of a lawsuit. Medical animation can be used as evidence in the case.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Photo by Sara Bakhshi on Unsplash

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to various illnesses that impair breathing and impede airways. Both chronic bronchitis and emphysema are in this class. 

Although COPD is not curable, it is manageable.

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, over 16 million Americans with COPD have difficulty breathing. Millions more people have COPD but have not received a diagnosis or treatment.

Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization, this disease is the third leading cause of death worldwide, with 3.23 million deaths in 2019 alone.

The symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, chronic cough, frequent colds, flu, or other respiratory infections, lack of energy, and depression.

What are the Causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

Different factors can cause COPD. While some may be the fault of the person with the sickness, sometimes, it can be caused by the actions or negligence of someone else. 

When a disease links to another person, the victim can drag the person to a court of law to ensure justice prevails. Medical animation can be used in cases like this to illustrate the the cause of the disease to the court.

Here are the causes of COPD:

  1. Smoking

In about nine out of ten instances, smoking brings about COPD.

The lining of the lungs and airways can become damaged by the toxic compounds in smoke. Quitting smoking can help stop the deterioration of COPD.

Additionally, passive smoking, inhaling another person’s cigarette smoke, may raise the risk of developing COPD.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Photo by Reza Mehrad on Unsplash
  1. Fumes and Dust (Occupational Hazard)

Working with some specks of dust and chemicals can harm the lungs and raise the overall risk of developing COPD.

Several substances, including cadmium dust and fumes, grain and flour dust, silica dust, welding fumes, isocyanates, and coal dust, have been related to COPD.

Exposure to dust and chemicals and a penchant for smoking can increase COPD risk.

In the case of Rutledge v. Tultex Corp./Kings Yarn, the plaintiff was responsible for her COPD since she smokes regularly and had developed disease symptoms before she commenced her job with the defendant. 

However, if it is proved that the illness results from occupational exposure, the case would be decided in favor of the plaintiff. This is seen in the case of Mrs. Smith’s FF Co. v. WCAB (Clouser), where the plaintiff successfully proved that her COPD was caused by exposure to wheat flour dust during her employment. 

Medical animation can display the work conditions that led to this disease and the effect on the victim. 

  1. Alpha-1 Deficiency

Alpha-1 deficiency-related emphysema is a rare form of COPD that affects a small percentage of persons. This type of COPD is caused by a genetic (inherited) disorder that impairs the body’s capacity to create an alpha-1 protein, which defends the lungs.

Complications of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD can cause an array of complications.

Sometimes, the complications are a result of differing factors. Whatever the case may be, if there is a need for a court case, medical animation can be used to depict the disease and the resultant complications. 

Here are the possible complications of COPD:

  • High blood pressure in the lung arteries

The arteries that supply blood to the lungs may become hypertensive due to COPD (pulmonary hypertension).

  • Respiratory illnesses 

Cold, flu, and pneumonia are more likely to affect people with COPD. Any respiratory infection may make breathing considerably more challenging and may exacerbate existing lung tissue damage.

  • Lung cancers 

COPD increases the risk of lung cancer risk.

  • Heart issues 

For inexplicable reasons, COPD can raise the chance of developing heart disease, including a heart attack.

  • Depression 

Breathing problems may prevent people from engaging in enjoyable activities. Additionally, having a severe disease can hasten the onset of depression.


COPD is debilitating but can be managed throughout a lifetime. Thus, when another person’s acts or negligence causes it, due compensation should be sought in a court of law. Medical animation can also be used as demonstrative evidence in this regard.

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