A case study published recently in the Pediatrics journal outlines how a decision for an 18-year-old Pennsylvania woman to pick up e-cigarettes to replace them for her smoking habit landed her in the ER only three weeks later with a condition known as ‘wet lung’. The official medical term for the illness is hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is essentially is an allergic reaction to dust or chemicals that cause a person’s lungs to inflame.
While the case study has kept the women’s identity anonymous due to privacy, after only 21 days of vaping, the hostess at a restaurant developed symptoms that sent her to the hospital emergency area. She had difficulty breathing that worsened over minutes, was coughing, and felt chest pains whenever she inhaled or exhaled. She had no fever and had zero signs of an upper respiratory condition (nasal congestion, runny nose). The woman did have mild asthma, that required a puffer now and again, but no other major lung issues.
CNN recently advised that ER doctors decided to place her in pediatric intensive-care when her coughing turned more frequent, and gave her some antibiotics; however, her condition worsened and quickly. Very soon, the young lady experienced respiratory failure, an issue where an individual simply cannot get adequate oxygen into their blood from the lungs. Therefore, she was placed on a mechanical ventilator to help her breathe until her lungs got better. She also required tubes placed on either side of her chest to help with fluid drainage from her lungs.
The good news is, the young woman was given methylprednisolone via IV; a medication used to help with severe allergic reactions. Within five days she was weaned off her medical support systems.
With little known around the true hazards of e-cigarettes, this case study reveals the negative effects that vaping can potentially cause. It’s clear that while tobacco cigarettes are a terrible addiction with awful repercussions to one’s health, more research is needed when it comes to the potential health adversities that an e-cigarette habit can bring.