Dust‐related diffuse fibrosis in a coal mine worker from New South Wales

Clare Wood, Elizabeth J Silverstone and Deborah H Yates
Med J Aust 2022; 216 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51418
Published online: 7 March 2022

A 77‐year‐old never‐smoker presented with an abnormal screening chest x‐ray. He was still working, having been employed in coal mining for more than 40 years. He had spent more than 30 years working on the coal face and had also worked on roof bolting, in mine development and on ventilation support. Recently, he had worked as a coal mines inspector, a job for which he had been chosen because of his broad experience. He had undergone periodic medical examinations during all his employment without a previously abnormal result. The patient’s last chest x‐ray had been 4 years before his diagnosis. Although results had been reported as normal at the time, review of this image had later shown early lower zone interstitial changes (International Labour Organization category 0/1), and the recent chest x‐ray showed category 1/1 changes (subtle abnormalities).

  • Clare Wood1
  • Elizabeth J Silverstone2
  • Deborah H Yates2

  • 1 UQ Health Care, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

Deborah Yates has assessed and treated patients with coal mine dust lung diseases who have been referred by Coal Services NSW. These referrals have all been for clinical purposes and billed as such.


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