Published: Fri, November 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Michigan boy, 17, gets double lung transplant after damage from vaping

Michigan boy, 17, gets double lung transplant after damage from vaping

More than three dozen have died, including one from MI.

Noting that the unidentified patient's illness can be traced to vaping, Dr. Nemeh says this is a "preventable potential tragedy".

"It would be nice if it's the last - if the epidemic of acute lung injury can be brought under control", said Dr. David Christiani at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "And the lung itself was so firm and scarred, literally we had to deliver it out of the chest", he said. "This is an evil that I haven't faced before.", he further added. Our family could never have imagined being at the center of the largest adolescent public health crisis to face our country in decades.

This is after a string of deaths and serious illnesses are thought to have been linked to vaping. "This senseless type of product needs to be fought". They expressed their hope that others would be compelled to stop vaping after hearing the patient's story. A spokesperson from Henry Ford Hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. Most products contained nicotine, but THC vaping has been growing more common.

Of those cases, almost 85 percent have reportedly been vaping products using THC - the active ingredient of marijuana that causes the high.

He arrived at Henry Ford on Oct 3 critically ill and suffering such severe lung damage that he was placed at the top of the list for a transplant, which was performed on Oct 15, the hospital said.

Vitamin E acetate was found in 29 lung samples. They did say that he was critically ill when he arrived at Henry Ford where he was placed October 8 on an organ transplant waiting list.

According to the CDC, about 86 percent of 867 patients for whom relevant health data was available reported using products containing THC in the three months before they developed symptoms.

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The hospital said they will hold a press conference on Tuesday with updates on the patient's condition.

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.

Dr Hassan Nemeh, a surgical director of thoracic organ transplant at the MI hospital, said that he and two other medical professionals performed surgery on the boy - who remains unnamed - back in October. There he was connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation device, or ECMO machine, to keep his heart and lungs working.

"This teenager faced imminent death had he not received a lung transplant", Dr Hassan Nemeh, surgical director of thoracic organ transplant at Henry Ford Hospital, said in a statement announcing the mid-October procedure, which he carried out with two other surgeons, assisted by a team of experts.

Now, almost a month after a successful surgery, he is recovering well, according to the medical team. The doctors did not specify what the teen vaped or how long he vaped.

The family said the teenager was an athlete before his lungs started deteriorating.

"Within a very short period of time, our lives have been forever changed".

The teen's long-term prognosis is unclear.

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