Vape

Michigan teen with vape-related illness undergoes double lung transplant

A 17-year-old boy in Michigan is believed to be the first patient to undergo a double lung transplant as a result of irreversible damage done to his organs via vaping. In a press conference on Tuesday, surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital said that without the transplant he would have died. “Our teen patient would have faced certain death if it were not for the lung transplant happening,” Dr. Hassan Nehmeh, a thoracic surgeon and the hospital’s thoracic surgical director, said at the news conference. On Sept. 6, the then-16-year-old, who was not identified due to the family’s request for privacy, was admitted to Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, where he was treated for suspected pneumonia. When his condition worsened, he was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where he was placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to help his lungs heal. His condition continued to deteriorate, prompting his medical team to contact the lung transplant team at Henry Ford Hospital and begin coordinating his transfer. On Oct. 3, three doctors from Henry Ford placed a portable ECMO machine in their personal car and drove to Children’s Hospital of Michigan. After the youth was switched to the mobile machine, paramedics transported him via ambulance to Henry Ford. There, he went on the transplant waiting list. Nehmeh said the teen’s lungs were firm and thick with damaged tissue that had no chance of healing. The medical team declined to comment on what type of vaping products the teen had been using, or for how long he had been using them. “This is an evil I have not seen before,” Nehmeh said. On Oct. 15, the teen underwent a double lung transplant; he has since been taken off a ventilator and is mobile in the hospital but faces weeks of recovery. Dr. Lisa Allenspach, a pulmonologist at the hospital, read a statement from the family that repeated the request for privacy. They did express the hope that the details of the teen’s ordeal would dissuade others from picking up the vaping habit. “We are here today to beg the public to pay special attention to the steps that were taken in this case,” said Dr. Nicholas Yeldo, an anesthesiologist at the hospital who has advocated for smoking cessation aimed at teens. “Without the heroic measures, in this case, this young patient would have died there is no doubt about it. I beg of you, this was not just the unlucky one. This is happening way, way too much for us to turn our heads to this.” The medical team repeated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics about the deadly dangers of vaping; there have been 39 fatalities nationwide, and over 2,000 instances of illnesses. “This is a senseless disease process and preventable death,” Nehmeh said.

This is a cautionary tale worth passing along to those teens who vape.

Dozens of Midwest teens who reported vaping hospitalized with ‘severe lung injury,’ breathing problems

More than a dozen teens in the Midwest who reported vaping have been hospitalized with lung issues, stumping doctors who are searching for what exactly is sickening them. The Minnesota Department of Health announced Tuesday four cases of young people at Children’s Minnesota with “severe lung injury” possibly tied to vaping. The cases were announced days after Illinois health officials reported six cases and at least 12 were confirmed in Wisconsin, state health officials said. There are more under investigation. “These cases are similar to lung disease cases recently reported in Wisconsin and Illinois, though it is too early to say whether they are connected,” the Minnesota Department of Health said. Patients are reporting similar symptoms – shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and vomiting in some cases – and some have been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Teens across states reported using vaping devices for both nicotine and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high” sensation, prior to their hospitalization. In Minnesota, specifically, doctors at first thought the teens had some sort of respiratory infection – possibly pneumonia – but ruled this out after they failed to improve with treatment. In fact, according to NBC News, many of the teens treated for a respiratory infection got worse, not better. “We are deeply concerned by the severe cases of lung injury associated with vaping that we are currently seeing,” Dr. Emily Chapman, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, said in a news release. “These cases are extremely complex to diagnose, as symptoms can mimic a common infection yet can lead to severe complications and extended hospitalization. Medical attention is essential; respiratory conditions can continue to decline without proper treatment.” In Wisconsin, Dr. David D. Gummin, medical director of the Wisconsin Poison Center, and professor and chief of medical toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, told The New York Times officials “have no leads” to a specific substance that’s causing respiratory issues “other than those that are associated with smoking or vaping,” he said. The negative health effects associated with cigarette and cigar use have long been documented, leading to a decline in both among teens in the U.S. in recent years. In 2018, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported roughly 1 in 50 – about 1.8 percent – of middle school students said they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, down from 4.3 percent in 2011 and a drastic decrease from 36.4 percent in 1997 when rates “peaked after increasing throughout the first half of the 1990s,” according to the American Lung Association. But the same is not true for e-cigarette use. In 2018, nearly 1 of every 20 middle school students (4.9 percent) reported using electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days. That’s an increase from less than 1 percent in 2011. Last year, the Surgeon General of the United States, Jerome Adams, declared vaping among American teens an “epidemic.” “This is an unprecedented challenge,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in response at the time. The health issues – both short and long term – of e-cigarette use are not well understood, and the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) does not require the manufacturers of e-cigarette devices to list all the ingredients in them. “The risk here is that if people are presenting to hospital emergency rooms or urgent cares, they either may not think of vaping as something that is threatening and may not include it in their history,” Chapman told The New York Times. “Or if asked directly, they may not be comfortable sharing that.” A recent study from Yale University and Duke University found the e-cigarette liquid in Juul devices contain chemicals known as acetals. Acetals, according to the researchers, could cause lung irritation. Separately, the FDA announced last week it’s investigating 127 reports of seizures occurring after vaping. “The truth of the matter is, we have so little experience with vaping, relative to the experience we have with cigarettes and cigars. Recall how long it took us to figure out that cigarettes were linked to lung cancer,” Chapman added. “There is so much we don’t know.”

Indeed..  Bottom line, vaping has many health risks; including ones that even the doctors aren’t sure about.  So, if you or anyone you know vapes, please share this article with them.  Clearly, it’s foolish to ASSume that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes.  And, we know how risky that is.