Teen 'Lucky To Be Alive' When Lung Burst After Inhaling Laughing Gas At Festival
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A 16-year-old is said to be 'lucky to be alive' after he inhaled laughing gas and ended up being diagnosed with a ruptured lung as a result.
Alex Littler, a year 11 student from Cheshire, inhaled the nitrous oxide while at Parklife festival in Manchester (11-12 June).
He later complained of a swollen neck, breathlessness and feeling that his chest was like 'popping bubble wrap' when touched. Alex was rushed to hospital the following Monday, where he confessed to doctors and his mum that he'd inhaled the gas which can be bought in cannisters.
Nitrous oxide is used legally for anaesthesia or as a propellant for whipped cream, however it can also be pumped into balloons to be inhaled by those looking for a 'high'.
Alex's mum Cathy Mccann is now hoping to warn others of the dangers of the laughing gas as she expressed belief parents don't 'know the concept'.
She said: "No one knows the depth and consequences. Sixteen-year-olds are dying, people have messaged me saying their son died."
Alex was diagnosed with a ruptured and leaking lung, with medics telling him he was lucky to be alive but that he may have to undergo surgery to remove air that was trapped around his lungs and heart. Thankfully an oxygen mask left on overnight managed to remove the trapped air without Alex having to undergo an operation.
The 16-year-old has vowed never to inhale the drug again and admitted he didn't know the dangers, with Cathy saying her son had told her it was 'the worst thing he could have done'.
"He didn't realise himself what the dangers were and he did it because all his mates were doing it," she continued.
Cathy described coming home and finding Alex in bed and hearing his chest 'crackling and crunching'.
Doctors quizzed the pair over what could have caused the injury, whether Alex had been 'squashed in a crowd, been weightlifting or done anything that could have caused the damage', at which point Alex admitted to inhaling laughing gas.
The mum commented: "I couldn't believe it, he said he hadn't had anything. It upsets me thinking about it, it's horrible. It could have killed him. His lung has got a hole in it.
"The gases can affect on your spinal cord, go to your brain and deaden your brain. I was beside myself because I didn't know the full facts about these gases. He was petrified."
Cathy decided not to punish Alex after his ordeal, but stressed he's already 'learnt a big massive lesson'.
Greater Manchester Police Bury South highlighted the extent of the usage of laughing gas at Parklife as they shared images of industrial bins filled with kilos of cannisters which had been seized.