Vaping Linked To Respiratory Disturbance: Several Cases Around The US


Araby Scott, Contributor

Recently, health officials have linked multiple cases of a mystery lung ailment to the possibly dangerous things in vaping products such as, oils and flavoring substances. So far there have been no reported deaths, but a hand-full of cases have come considerably close.

In Dylan Nelson’s case he was admitted into the intensive care unit, with what was suspected to be asthma related breathing impairments. As his hospital stay grew longer it became clear to medical staff that it was much more than a typical asthma case. As his condition worsened his blood oxygen dropped to 10% (a healthy one being form 95-100%), he lost his ability to speak, and soon doctors put him into a medically induced coma. He case was so severe that his response to being asked what he remembered was, “It was very uncomfortable. Every time I would cough with the tube in my mouth, fluid would come up out of my lungs into the tube and they would have to vacuum out the hose”. His family told nurses that they were worried that they would never see the twenty-six-year-old Dylan Nelson again. About a month ago Nelson was released from the hospital, he still has heart and lung damage and it is unclear as to how much he will heal.

One of the nurses who treated Nelson stated that, “We already treated an 18-year-old like this and we know of two more cases in Milwaukee.” To further back that, the chief medical officer, Dr. Michael Gutzeit, commented, “As the clinical team was trying to get a better understanding about what might be causing this, it became apparent that the one preceding factor was that the patients had been vaping.” All the patients experiencing similar symptoms, had one thing in common, they had all been vaping. No specific vape pen, oil, or brand has been linked to the illness. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reviewed and confirmed fifteen cases as being the same as Nelson’s respiratory distress.

Each victim of the unnamed respiratory ailment, has reported vaping at least one of these three substances, THC, cannabidiol, or nicotine. There is no group that is immune to the illness; victims range from teens to fifties and have been both female and male. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that they are investigating “94 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping.”

Over the past decade the popularity of vaping has skyrocketed, however it has been available to the public since 1963. Considering that doctors and health associates were not likely to link breathing impairments to vaping until recently; Dr. Anne Griffiths, a lung specialist stated, “My sense is this isn’t new. It’s new that we’re recognizing it.” Prior to the cluster of patients who suffered through vaping related lung impairment the assumed risk of vaping was relatively low. Teens vaping nicotine has been a concern of many doctors for years, but until now no major side-effects have been detected (besides the nicotine addiction).


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