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Worksite Health

Cough

12/08/2008

Question:

They have been doing renovations at work. Since they started I have developed a cough and when I cough my chest hurts. At work is the only place that I have a cough. I also have pulminary hypertension that has never caused any symptoms. What could be causing this? Is there any thing that I can do to help it? Should I see my doctor about this or only if it continues after the renovations?

Answer:

I would suggest going to see a physician sooner rather than later. You say you have pulmonary hypertension - I assume this diagnosed by a physician? The diagnosing physician should be able to give you advice about work and the kinds of exposures you are encountering. Do you know what kinds of materials are being released into the air from the renovations? Pulmonary hypertension is treatable but it is a potentially serious condition. Anything that compromises your respiratory system will only make it more difficult for your body to get the oxygen it needs. Go see your doctor as soon as possible and find out if you can take a leave from work or at least be reassigned to an area clear of the dust from the renovations until they are complete. Work with you doctor to establish treatments, preventive steps you can take, and activities and exposures you should avoid.

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Response by:

J Mac Crawford, PhD, RN J Mac Crawford, PhD, RN
Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
College of Public Health
The Ohio State University