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US Teenager Has Double Lung Transplant Due To Vaping-Related Illness

US Teenager Has Double Lung Transplant Due To Vaping-Related Illness

A teenage athlete has undergone a double lung transplant, becoming the first person to do so after a vaping-related illness.

The 17-year-old boy faced 'imminent death' if he didn't have the surgery, according to doctors at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

This news comes just days after Donald Trump announced that he'll be meeting with senior representatives from the vaping industry to talk about regulation.

So far, several states - including Oregon and Washington - have introduced legislation banning certain types of e-cigarettes.

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An X-Ray showed the damaged lungs struggling to take in oxygen. Credit: Henry Ford Hospital
An X-Ray showed the damaged lungs struggling to take in oxygen. Credit: Henry Ford Hospital

This is after a string of deaths and serious illnesses are thought to have been linked to vaping.

Dr Hassan Nemeh, a surgical director of thoracic organ transplant at the Michigan hospital, said that he and two other medical professionals performed surgery on the boy - who remains unnamed - back in October.

Now, his family have asked the hospital to share the story in order to raise awareness of what they describe as the 'horrific life-threatening effects' of vaping.

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2,051 people have suffered from suspected vaping-related injuries in the USA. Credit: PA
2,051 people have suffered from suspected vaping-related injuries in the USA. Credit: PA

One of his relatives said: "Within a very short period of time, our lives have been forever changed.

"(The boy) has gone from the typical life of a perfectly healthy 16-year old athlete...to waking up intubated and with two new lungs, facing a long and painful recovery process as he struggles to regain his strength and mobility, which has been severely impacted."

Last Thursday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that they've seen more than 2,000 confirmed and likely lung injury cases in the USA, as well as 39 deaths, related to vaping and e-cigarettes.

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His new lungs are working much better. Credit: Henry Ford Hospital
His new lungs are working much better. Credit: Henry Ford Hospital
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Of those cases, nearly 85 percent have reportedly been vaping products using THC - the active ingredient of marijuana that causes the high.

In this case, it isn't clear whether the youngster had been using THC in his e-cigarette.

On Friday, the CDC confirmed that they'd taken samples from the lungs of 29 people with suspected vaping-related injury and discovered that all of them contained Vitamin E acetate.

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They believe this to be a 'breakthrough' in their ongoing investigation into what is causing the illnesses.

Vitamin E acetate was found in 29 lung samples. Credit: PA
Vitamin E acetate was found in 29 lung samples. Credit: PA

The doctors in Detroit said that the boy was brought to another hospital on September 5 with what they thought initially to be pneumonia.

He was later intubated - a tube was inserted down his windpipe - a week later when his ability to breathe worsened.

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He then arrived at Henry Ford Hospital on October 3 and was immediately brought to the top of the lung transplant list, given the severity of his illness.

On October 15, the surgery was performed and the boy now has a 'very good prognosis' according to the hospital, although he faces a long recovery.

Featured Image Credit: Henry Ford Hospital

Topics: US News, Weird

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]