Teen develops 'wet lung' after vaping for 3 weeks

Mindy Sparks
May 18, 2018

According to CNN, the teen, who was a hostess at a rural Pennsylvania restaurant, paid an "unusual" price for an e-cigarette, and started developing symptoms shortly after.

An 18-year-old Pennsylvania teen had only been vaping e-cigarettes for about three weeks when she developed symptoms that sent her to the emergency room.

The doctors diagnosed her with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, also known as wet lung.

Trouble breathing, a persistent cough, chest pain - they're symptoms most often associated with smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, not e-cigs. During the examination, she was diagnosed with hypersensitive pneumonitis and acute respiratory distress syndrome - a condition that without immediate medical care could result in death. But her condition rapidly worsened. Her history included mild asthma and an allergy to Brazil nuts, neither of which were thought to have caused her current condition.

"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", Dr. Daniel Weiner said, via CNN.

The 18-year-old was then placed on a ventilator machine and had tubes inserted into both sides of her chest to help drain the fluid from her lungs. It can be caused by a reaction to chemicals or dust - in this case, Sommerfeld says chemicals found in her e-cigarettes led to inflammation and lung damage.

"This immune response can lead to increased inflammation and "leaky" blood vessels, which can lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs", said Sommerfeld, now a general pediatrician at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

After tests ruled out an infection, she was treated with methylprednisolone, a steroid used to suppress the immune system in the event of a severe allergic reaction.

The patient said her last vape was only a day or two before her hospitalization.

The authors noted that this is the first reported case of its kind resulting from e-cigarette use in an adolescent.


'These potential harms of nicotine are particularly worrisome in view of soaring rates of e-cigarette use in USA teenagers'.

With the medical risks of e-cigarettes still being investigated, a teen experienced first-hand health complications after vaping for just a short period of time.

And because they are popular (and for many, a good tool to quit smoking cigarettes), Sommerfeld says consumers should be careful when considering which products to purchase.

Her research has shown that certain e-cigarette flavor chemicals significantly reduce the function of immune cells.

Sommerfeld noted that, as vaping products contain nicotine, "vaping can cause side effects including dizziness, headaches, nausea, racing heart, anxiety and difficulty with sleep". "It is important to note that electronic cigarettes still contain nicotine and can be addictive to children".

Jaspers said that, "in addition to nicotine addiction, which by itself will have effects on the adolescent brain, we just do not know yet what the long term health effects of exposure to e-cigarettes may be".

Tallmadge was reportedly using a "mod" pen manufactured by Smok-E Mountain in the Philippines.

The rapid spread of vaping was highlighted by a 2016 report from the U.S. surgeon general that cited a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school students from 2011 to 2015.

"They have been marketed as a safer alternative to typical cigarettes", she says.

This photo illustration shows a woman smoking an electronic cigarette on July 5, 2012 in Knutsford, United Kingdom.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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