Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Teenage girl developed wet lungs after vaping for 3 weeks

Teenage girl developed wet lungs after vaping for 3 weeks Teenage girl developed wet lungs after vaping for 3 weeks
Samantha Long | 18 May, 2018, 10:48

A Pennsylvania teenager developed a severe case of "wet lung" just three weeks after she began smoking e-cigarettes, according to a case study published on Thursday.

While at the ER she needed a breathing machine, and tubes had to be placed inside both sides of her chest to drain fluid from her lungs. While her name was withheld to protect privacy, her medical history did include mild asthma, which usually does not require the use of medicine or inhalers. Dr. Casey Sommerfeld, the girl's pediatrician and lead study author of the report, explains that this occurs when "an acute inflammatory lung injury leads to increased pulmonary vascular permeability, or 'leaky blood vessels, ' with subsequent fluid accumulation in the lungs".

In the study, the doctors say the teen reported the troubling symptoms after beginning to vape, then went into respiratory failure.

E-cigarettes heat liquid and turn it into vapor, which users can inhale.

"It is hard to speculate on how frequently this could happen; however, there are a few case reports involving adults that developed respiratory distress following electronic cigarette use", Sommerfeld told CNN.

Vaping - wherein flavoured liquid, sometimes containing nicotine, is heated into a vapour and inhaled like smoke - has been promoted as a safer alternative to smoking and an effective quitting aid. Her symptoms worsened rapidly, which included difficulty breathing, stabbing pains on inhalation and exhalation, and coughing, but she didn't present with fever or any other common upper respiratory symptoms.

"She was unable to get enough oxygen into her blood from her lungs and required a mechanical ventilator to breathe for her until her lungs recovered", Daniel Weiner, one of the doctors who worked on her case, told CNN. But, her condition kept deteriorating rapidly after consuming antibiotics.

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The authors noted that this is the first reported case of its kind resulting from e-cigarette use in an adolescent. Another found that heavy metals from the heating coil are making their way into the inhaled vapour (and the vapers' lungs).

Jaspers, who was not involved in the study, added that even though it describes just one patient, it "highlights the importance of potential adverse health effects associated with e-cigarette use".

Both Horovitz and Sommerfeld emphasized that e-cigarettes could be unsafe for children and adolescents.

Vaping is widely believed to be at least somewhat safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes, though there are still many unknowns. "We also do not know whether potential health effects caused by using e-cigarettes are more pronounced" in teens.

In 2016, a report by the Surgeon General showed a 900 percent spike in high school students using e-cigarettes between 2011 and 2015.

"As a pediatrician, I am always a child advocate and seeking to speak out on the best interest of children".

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