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The pathologist

Who is a pathologist and what does he do? This is a very common question, despite the fact that the profession exists in medicine for almost a hundred years. The physician occupational pathologist is studying the influence of unfavorable and harmful working conditions on the state of human health.

The doctor is engaged in a systematic study and development of methods for early diagnosis and effective treatment of the disease. Also the occupational pathologist supervises the patient from the moment of establishing the diagnosis to the full recovery. In addition, the competence of the doctor to prevent occupational diseases (health disorders arising from the action on the body of harmful, hazardous conditions and characteristics of production and directly the labor process itself) and medical and social rehabilitation of patients. 

Diseases related to the occupational pathology specialization:

  • Dust pulmonary diseases (dust bronchitis, professional bronchial asthma ); 
  • Vibration disease; 
  • Disorders of the musculoskeletal system (excessive load, chronic microtraction); 
  • Acute industrial intoxication.

This is far from being the whole list of occupational diseases, in case of occurrence of ailments associated with another type of activity or production, one should immediately seek advice from the occupational pathologist.

When should I go to the occupational pathologist?

When should I go to the occupational pathologist to prevent the development of a serious industrial disease? Occupational diseases should include dusty lung diseases (dust bronchitis, occupational bronchial asthma, pneumoconiosis); vibration disease; defeat of the musculoskeletal system; chronic trauma; acute professional intoxication of the body; chronic intoxication of the body (lead, mercury, chromium, fluorine, nitrates, etc.); intoxication with pesticides, aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, styrene); intoxication with polymers (synthetic rubber, resin, etc.); intoxication with solvents, production diseases of the skin and mucous membranes (dermatitis, conjunctivitis, folliculitis, toxic melanodermia, professional ulceration, warty growths, etc.)

For help to a doctor-occupational pathologist, it is necessary to address in such cases: 

  • When the medical examinations pass before the device is put into work or during a scheduled medical examination, which is carried out 1-2 times a year (depending on the working conditions and the characteristics of the workload); 
  • With indispositions, the cause of which can be in violation of working conditions and the impact on the body of harmful production factors; 
  • As a result of intoxication, traumatization, skin lesions, mucous membranes associated with professional activities; 
  • If it is necessary to issue a certificate for the traffic police for the right to drive a vehicle.

What tests should I take when I go to a pathologist?

What tests need to be handled when referring to a pathologist depends on what the patient is worried about. First of all, starting with the survey, the doctor needs to make a clinical picture and identify the relationship of the disease with the conditions of work. To conduct a survey the occupational pathologist can, both in the hospital room and on the road - at the enterprise or even at home. The doctor makes the conclusion according to the rules established by the law. The main task of the pathologist is not so much to be engaged in treatment, but how to find out the cause of the pathology. After all, a clearly established diagnosis not only improves the patient's health by effective treatment, but also protects the rest of the enterprise from developing a serious illness.

If the pathologist discovers that the patient is unfit for work, the doctor directs him to a narrow specialization doctor in accordance with the detected deviation, and he, in turn, assigns the necessary methods of instrumental diagnostics and gives directions for the delivery of tests.

In some cases, the examination of the occupational pathologist is a necessity and is carried out immediately before the exit to change. In the case of poor health or the impact on the employee of harmful factors, it can harm not only yourself, but also the rest of the employees of the enterprise.

What methods of diagnosis does the pathologist use?

The type of diagnosis the occupational pathologist uses depends on the nature of the pathology revealed in the patient. In general, modern methods of medical research are divided into two groups - laboratory and instrumental. In addition, instrumental methods include a group of surgical methods (for example, when a small piece of affected organ tissue is taken for a detailed histological examination).

Diagnostic methods completely depend on the nature of the pathology. When allergies are used skin tests, with changes in the musculoskeletal apparatus use radiographic data, changes in the respiratory system are diagnosed with the help of fluorography.

In the event that the pathologist discovers serious abnormalities in the work of the organs or entire systems of the patient, he has every right to send him for additional consultation to a doctor of a narrow specialty. Then the doctor, if necessary, appoints additional tests and methods of instrumental diagnosis to clarify the diagnosis and make a plan for effective treatment.

In addition, according to the conclusion of laboratory and instrumental analyzes, the occupational pathologist assesses the degree of influence of harmful factors of production on the health of the patient and prescribes preventive measures to avoid exacerbations and further aggravation of the disease. To address it is necessary at the first signs of the disease, obviously caused by harmful factors of production. The slightest delay can lead to irreversible changes in health.

What does the occupational pathologist do?

What does the occupational pathologist do and what is the whole division of medicine devoted to? Profpathology is a branch of medicine engaged in the study, diagnosis, treatment of diseases arising from exposure to unfavorable conditions in the workplace. In addition, science is studying the mechanism of exposure to harmful factors on the body's systems, the causes of development and the dynamics of the disease. Occupational pathology is closely related to other disciplines, in combination with which the most comfortable and safe working conditions are formed - occupational safety, occupational health and other sectors. Professional defeats of the body are diseases that are formed when human working conditions are harmful.

Based on the impact of harmful production factors, doctors form methods for early diagnosis, effective treatment, preventive measures and medical and social rehabilitation of patients.

Diseases related to occupational pathology: 

  • Dust diseases of the lungs (bronchitis, asthma, pneumoconiosis ); 
  • Vibration disease; 
  • Disorders of the musculoskeletal system; 
  • Occupational intoxication; 
  • Chronic occupational intoxication; 
  • Intoxication with aromatic hydrocarbons, polymers, aromatic solvents; 
  • Professional skin diseases (dermatitis, epidermatitis, folliculitis, toxic melasma, warty growths, professional ulcerative skin lesions, allergic dermatoses, professional cancer ).

What diseases are treated by a pathologist?

What diseases are treated by a pathologist and how are they classified? In medicine, several groups of occupational pathologies have been accepted: 

  1. Diseases that occur during exposure to the respiratory system of dust factors (pneumoconiosis). Normal lung tissue is replaced by fibrous under the influence of dust. Especially common are lung diseases: 
    • Silicate; 
    • Metalloconiosis; 
    • Carboconiosis; 
    • Pneumoconiosis; 
    • Pneumoconiosis from organic dust; 
    • Pneumoconiosis from mixed dust;
    • Silicosis
  2. Diseases arising from the effects of chemical compounds (mercury, lead, manganese, etc.).
  3. Diseases arising from the influence of physical factors: 
  4. Diseases caused by overexertion of organs and systems of the human body (periarthrosis, varicose veins, radiculitis, etc.). 
  5. Diseases caused by the impact on the body of biological factors ( tuberculosis, brucellosis, anthrax, tick-borne encephalitis).

A separate group is allocated oncological and allergic pathologies caused by working conditions. Occupational diseases can occur in acute and chronic form, acute arise immediately after exposure to a harmful factor, and chronic develop gradually, under the influence of a small dose of harmful factors.

Advices of a professional pathologist

The advice of a professional pathologist, basically comes down to one - with the first manifestations of a malaise, after direct contact with dangerous substances or after certain working conditions, it is worth to immediately seek advice. Diseases caused by chemical, physical, biological factors, as well as diseases of the respiratory system, skin, musculoskeletal system, obtained in the workplace are called professional pathologies. The industrial production pathology not only harms health and, over time, without proper treatment, is aggravated, but such a person can damage production and cause an emergency situation. Therefore, do not ignore the annual medical examinations, because the earlier the disease is identified, the greater the chances that there will not be serious complications that could cause disability or even death.

At each enterprise, the factory complex, there is a risk of developing occupational diseases among the staff, and the reason for this is unfavorable working conditions, environmental pollution, monotony of work and stressful situations.

The task of the pathologist to prevent the disease at an early stage and to appoint a timely treatment. If there are any questions in connection with the further tactics of treating the patient, the treatment may be handled by another specialist, a narrow profile.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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