Scan Reveals First Reported Adult Case Of Vaping-Related Lung Disease In UK
A scan image has been released by researchers which reveals the first reported case of vaping-related lung disease in the UK.
Experts at Royal Papworth Hospital, one of the world's leading cardiothoracic hospitals and the UK's main heart and lung transplant centre, published the report, with the image showing that the patient met the criteria for a 'confirmed' diagnosis of vaping-associated lung injury (otherwise known as EVALI).
According to the report, the patient was a previously fit and well man in his 40s who attended the emergency department complaining of chest pain and worsening shortness of breath.
The only underlying health condition he had was the fact that his appendix had been removed some time prior to his hospital admission.
The anonymous man reported a history of cigarette smoking, cannabis use in the distant past and occasional binge drinking of alcohol.
He had stopped smoking cigarettes six weeks previously and had commenced the regular use of a peppermint-flavoured vaping device as an aid to help him quit smoking.
Within hours of presentation, he required intubation and mechanical ventilation, and he continued to deteriorate over subsequent hours, developing severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which required extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (a machine that delivers oxygen to the body).
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The report, which was published by the European Respiratory Society, goes on to explain: "Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Case Definitions, this patient met the criteria for a 'confirmed' diagnosis of vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI).
"Although his radiology highlighted a degree of pre-existing structural lung disease, in-keeping with his history of cannabis and cigarette exposure, his acute decline occurred within 90 days of vape exposure and in the absence of confirmed pulmonary infection or another plausible diagnosis."
The patient did survive the acute illness and was sent back to his referring hospital after the discontinuation of ECMO support.
Globally, there is an increasing recognition of the potential hazards of vaping, with case reports emerging in the medical literature.
The report indicates that the CDC have identified 2,807 cases of lung injury requiring hospitalisation and 68 deaths associated with the use of vaping products (data as of 18 February 2020).
According to the document: "Two thirds of hospitalised patients are male, with a median age of 24 years.
"This case highlights that EVALI is not an exclusively North American phenomenon and while the risks may be ameliorated by UK and European legislation to reduce inhaled toxicant exposure, there is an ongoing hazard of life-threatening lung injury associated with the use of these devices."
Featured Image Credit: PA