An 18-year-old woman who had been working as a hostess in a rural Pennsylvania town has been admitted to the hospital last year for respiratory failure. The cause of her condition is believed to be e-cigarettes.
According to Reuters, the young lady, whose name has not been mentioned for confidentiality reasons, said she had been smoking the e-cigarettes for three weeks before she began to feel sick.
After visiting the hospital, the teen was checked into the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center where doctors began to record her issues. The doctors recorded her symptoms as a cough, difficulty breathing that was gradually worsening, and sudden stabbing pains in the chest with every inhalation and exhalation.
Although she was not yet feverish, she showed no upper respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose or nasal congestion. The teen did tell the doctors that she did have mild asthma, but it rarely ever caused her problems where she would need her inhaler.
After a few days, and her coughing became more frequent, the doctors checked her into the pediatric hospital and started her on antibiotics. However, despite this her condition worsened. Soon, the young woman experienced what is commonly known as respiratory failure, said Dr. Daniel Weiner, one of the patient’s doctors, a co-author of the new report and a medical director at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC.
“She was unable to get enough oxygen into her blood from her lungs and required a mechanical ventilator (respirator) to breathe for her until her lungs recovered,” Weiner said.
Not only did the young lady require a breathing machine, she needed tubes inserted on both sides of her chest to drain fluid from her lungs. Her doctors diagnosed her with “wet lung”, an inflammation of the lungs due to an allergic reaction to chemicals or dust.
Dr. Casey Sommerfeld, the patient’s pediatrician and lead author of a case study of the patient, said chemicals in the e-cigarettes led to lung damage and inflammation, which triggered the woman’s body to mount an immune response.
After all of this, she was given methylprednisolone, a drug used to treat severe allergic reactions. She began to improve swiftly and was soon weaned off of the medical support system
E-cigarettes have been the subject of controversy since gaining popularity as lawmakers and critics claim they target young consumers. The devices are made to look just like a regular cigarette that lights up on the end when inhaled. It uses e-juice, as the nicotine and has many different flavorings that can be used for example(cherry, grape, etc.).
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