What are Pleural Plaques
Pleural plaques are raised areas of thickened pleura, the lining of the chest wall.
These are not usually detected until around 10 – 20 years after you were first exposed to asbestos and are detected on x-rays or CT scans. These are often performed when you are being investigated for some other unrelated condition.
Pleural Plaques Scheme
The Ministry of Justice opened the pleural plaques scheme to compensate those victims eligible for a one off £5,000 payment. We would recommend that if you feel you are eligible you contact the Ministry of Justice. This scheme is now closed.
Following a ruling in 2007 pleural plaque sufferers cannot claim for damages for their condition in England or Wales.
The Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments however brough in legistlaion which overturned this decsion. We therefore have the situation where some part of the UK can claim and others cannot.
Diagnosis, symptoms and treatments
Pleural plaques do not cause any symptoms except in the rarest of situations.
Patients are usually being investigated for some other problem when pleural plaques are spotted on either a chest x-ray or a CT scan.
Pleural plaques themselves will not changed into another asbestos related condition, however there is evidence that a patient with pleural plaques are at an increased risk of going on to develop mesothelioma.
Due to pleural plaques not giving rise to any symptoms and in themselves are not life threatening there are currently no treatments available.
Patients are advised to attend for regular check ups in order that the pleural plaques can be monitored and to rule out the development of any other asbestos related condition. Often this calls for repeat x-rays every 6-12 months