Beryllium disease

December 14, 2012 

GAIL J. SLIGER, Kennewick

I would like to comment on the Dec. 4 letter from Faye Vlieger concerning the National Jewish Hospital's procedure to determine if a person has chronic disease.

I was informed by a pulmonary specialist at Harborview Hospital in Seattle that the only way to determine if a person did in fact have chronic beryllium disease was by the lung lavage biopsy procedure.

I have been to National Jewish Hospital in Denver twice in the past three years for a checkup on beryllium sensitivity to determine if I in fact did have chronic beryllium disease.

I was previously tested and found positive to beryllium sensitivity on three different blood tests that were done here in the Tri-Cities. I was informed at Harborview Hospital in Seattle that the only method to determine if a person has chronic beryllium disease is by the lung lavage biopsy.

Vlieger contends the procedure is invasive and often uncomfortable. The procedure has been performed on me twice in the last three years at Jewish National Hospital. For my money, a trip to the local dentist is much less desirable.

And to Vlieger, Jewish National Hospital is considered the top pulmonary treatment center in the nation if not the world.

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