Legionnaires’ disease is a lung condition caused by the Legionella bacteria. It is also known as Legionella pneumonia because it can cause similar symptoms to regular pneumonia. Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease infect the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to severe damage or even death.
A doctor or health care provider checking a patient for Legionnaires’ disease will likely begin with a physical exam, which includes listening to the lungs with a stethoscope. If a doctor suspects a person has contacted Legionnaires’ disease, they may order a number of tests, including:
- A check of the gases in the blood, which helps determine if a patient’s lungs are transmitting enough oxygen.
- A chest x-ray.
- A complete blood count (CBC), which looks at the cells in the blood.
- A urine test to check for Legionella bacteria.
- Cultures to find Legionella bacteria or the body’s antibodies against it.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, another blood test.
- Liver function tests.
If testing reveals a person has Legionnaires’ disease, several treatment options are available. Antibiotics are frequently used to kill the bacteria. A patient may also be given fluids or electrolytes if the disease has dehydrated them, as well as oxygen to help them breathe. A physician may order additional treatments for the condition.
Tests and treatments for Legionnaires’ disease can be expensive. If you have contacted Legionnaires’ disease because of a hospital or other institution’s failure to maintain water cleanliness, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. Legionnaires’ disease attorney Steven H. Heisler, “The Injury Lawyer,” has experience seeking compensation for those with Legionnaires’ disease. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Steven H. Heisler today at 877-228-4878.