Physicians have performed what is believed to be the first double lung transplant for a patient whose lungs were “irreparably damaged” from vaping.
The Henry Ford Health System in Michigan, US, is reporting that a medical team at the hospital performed the transplant in a 17-year-old athlete. The patient was admitted to a hospital in early September with symptoms of what appeared to be pneumonia. His condition deteriorated and he was intubated on September 12. Five days later, he was transferred to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). He underwent lung transplantation on 15 October. The patient is reported to be doing well and came off the ventilator on October 27.
“This teenager faced imminent death had he not received a lung transplant,” said Dr Hassan Nemeh, Surgical Director of Thoracic Organ Transplant at Henry Ford Hospital, who performed the transplant along with a team of experts in Detroit. “This is a preventable tragedy. The damage that these vapes do to people’s lungs is irreversible,” Dr Nemeh added.
Latest figures show that more than 2,000 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported from 49 US states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.