An 18-year-old Pennsylvania teen was recently diagnosed with wet lung after suffering an allergic reaction while vaping.
Many national media outlets immediately pointed to effects of vaping as the primary cause of her affliction, instead of focusing on the personal health issues of the patient – which were the actual culprits.
The unnamed woman was a beginning vaper, having engaged in the activity for about three weeks. A case study released last Thursday by Pediatrics, a medical publication, said e-cigarettes caused allergic symptoms so bad the woman was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s emergency room.
While being examined, the woman — who had a history of asthma — suffered from a cough and had a hard time catching her breathe. She also described a throbbing pain in her chest, according to a CNN report.
As her coughing progressed, she was immediately admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. Treated with antibiotics, the woman’s condition quickly grew dire, CNN reported.
In a short time, the woman experienced respiratory failure, Dr. Daniel Weiner, one of the woman’s attending physicians and an author of the report, told CNN.
The doctors fitted the woman with a breathing machine and inserted tubes to drain her lungs.
“She was unable to get enough oxygen into her blood from her lungs and required a mechanical ventilator (respirator) to breathe for her until her lungs recovered,” Weiner was quoted as saying.
The patient developed wet lung (hypersensitivity pneumonitis), an allergic response to chemicals or dust, according to CNN.
As lead author of the case study, Dr. Casey Sommerfield indicated an allergic reaction while vaping caused her lung problems, which lead to an immune reaction by her body. That reaction caused the medical drama.
“This immune response can lead to increased inflammation and ‘leaky’ blood vessels, which can lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs,” said Sommerfeld, who currently serves as a general pediatrician at Atlanta’s Children’s Healthcare.