1. ITV Report

Calls for greater awareness about fatal lung condition

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Liz Summers.
Charlotte Harvey needs help with her breathing. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A woman from Wellingborough is calling for greater awareness of a fatal lung condition after waiting two years for her diagnosis.

Charlotte Harvey had to endure a series of tests, scans and misdiagnoses before being told she had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, or IPF.

The devastating news came soon after she lost her mum to the same disease.

Charlotte is one of 6,000 people diagnosed each year with IPF Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I'm very upset and angry because obviously I've wasted two years... I lost my lung function and you can't get it back so in that time I could have been on antifibrotic drugs that could have slowed it down and prolonged my life. Even though the time span is three to five years, two years is precious when you've got the maximum of five years generally."

– Charlotte Harvey
Charlotte lost her mother to the same condition. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • 35% of people are misdiagnosed
  • 54% waited six months for diagnosis
  • 20% waited more than two years for diagnosis

"I think GPs are often missing the symptoms which is a crackling, velcro sound at the bottom of the lungs, you have to have your ear tuned to that, maybe GPs are not aware of it, GPs are rushed... but the symptoms of the disease are similar to those of other diseases for example pneumonia or heart failure also produce respiratory crackles."

– Steve Jones, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis