Exposure to Mold and Remediation Chemicals Leads to Reduced Lung Capacity

This case study explores the impact of mold exposure and remediation chemicals on an adult individual with asthma, who experienced a significant reduction in lung capacity.

ByWendy Ketner, M.D.

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Published on February 6, 2024

Person cleaning mold with chemicals

Case Overview

This case study involves an adult individual with a significant medical history of asthma. The individual was residing in a rented condominium where mold was discovered. A mold remediation company was contracted to remove the mold using Prokure, a common chemical used in such processes.

During the course of treatment, the patient sought emergency care due to exposure to both mold and the remediation chemicals. Subsequently, they consulted a pulmonologist. Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) conducted by this specialist revealed a 42% reduction in lung capacity.

Despite these health challenges, the patient was not hospitalized and continues to maintain their employment. The case necessitates a review by a board-certified pulmonologist who may also need to perform an Independent Medical Examination (IME).

Questions to the Pulmonology expert and their responses

Q1

As a pulmonologist, how often do you treat patients exposed to mold?

In my practice as a board-certified pulmonologist and interventional pulmonologist, I regularly encounter patients with various lung diseases, including those related to mold exposure.

Q2

What could be some possible causes for an apparent reduction in lung capacity in an adult with a history of asthma who reports exposure to mold and mold remediation chemicals?

There are numerous potential etiologies leading to reduced lung capacity in such cases. It's crucial to thoroughly review the patient's asthma history since many individuals are labeled asthmatic without a comprehensive workup.

Therefore, it would require an extensive examination of their medical records and pulmonology records over several years.

Q3

Have you ever reviewed a similar case before?

Yes, I have encountered similar presentations quite frequently at the general pulmonary clinic where I practice. I am comfortable managing such cases.

About the expert

This expert is a seasoned professional in the field of pulmonology, with board certifications in internal medicine and pulmonary disease. They have completed an extensive educational journey, including a BA from a renowned university, an MD from a prestigious school of medicine, followed by an internship and residency in internal medicine at a top-tier college of medicine, and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at a leading university. Currently serving as an assistant professor at a university and a physician at a VA hospital, they are also an active member of several professional societies such as the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American Thoracic Society, and the American Association of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology.

Expert headshot

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Specialties:

About the author

Wendy Ketner, M.D.

Wendy Ketner, M.D.

Dr. Wendy Ketner is a distinguished medical professional with a comprehensive background in surgery and medical research. Currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at the Expert Institute, she plays a pivotal role in overseeing the organization's most important client relationships. Dr. Ketner's extensive surgical training was completed at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, where she gained hands-on experience in various general surgery procedures, including hernia repairs, cholecystectomies, appendectomies, mastectomies for breast cancer, breast reconstruction, surgical oncology, vascular surgery, and colorectal surgery. She also provided care in the surgical intensive care unit.

Her research interests have focused on post-mastectomy reconstruction and the surgical treatment of gastric cancer, including co-authoring a textbook chapter on the subject. Additionally, she has contributed to research on the percutaneous delivery of stem cells following myocardial infarction.

Dr. Ketner's educational background includes a Bachelor's degree from Yale University in Latin American Studies and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. Moreover, she is a member of the Board of Advisors for Opollo Technologies, a fintech healthcare AI company, contributing her medical expertise to enhance healthcare technology solutions. Her role at Expert Institute involves leveraging her medical knowledge to provide insights into legal cases, underscoring her unique blend of medical and legal acumen.

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