The powerful pain-killing agent acetaminophen may be connected to the asthma boom in children, reports the New York Times.
Apparently there is evidence out there now showing that the asthma epidemic in children took off when doctors gave acetaminophen to children to protect against Reye's Syndrome.
The first study to argue that children not be given acetaminophen to reduce fever came out in 1998 but the apex came recently from Dr. John T. McBride, a pediatrician at Akron Children's Hospital in Ohio. Dr. McBride wrote in the journal Pediatrics "that the evidence for a link between acetaminophen and asthma is now strong enough for doctors to recommend that infants and children who have asthma (or are at risk for the disease) avoid acetaminophen", reports The Times.
Asthma, which often affects children, is an inflammation of the lungs. Dr. McBride argues that even minute amounts of acetaminophen can reduce an enzyme called glutathinone, which is the body's usual way of driving away inflammation.
No doubt many parents will be happy and relieved to hear of a study like this -- one that might explain what might be afflicting their children.
However, the arrival of studies like this also spurs potential personal injury lawsuits. Hindsight being 20/20, parents may feel inclined to go after the hospitals, doctors, and even the acetaminophen manufacturers, for making their children ill. Hindsight is why medical malpractice is a big area of personal injury law; but also why it is one which requires considerable amount of expert testimony, as on occasion a plaintiff is trying to impose advances in science back onto past events.
A personal injury lawyer can help you understand when an asthma lawsuit or any medical malpractice claim might be appropriate.