A 17-year-old teenager in Michigan has reportedly undergone a double lung transplant as a result of irreversible damage done to his organs via vaping.
National Sportslink learned that the announcement by Henry Ford Hospital came a day after President Donald Trump said he would meet with industry representatives as his administration weighs new regulations amid a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related illness and deaths.
The surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital said in a press conference held on Tuesday that without the transplant he would have died.
“Our teen patient would have faced certain death if it were not for the lung transplant happening,” Dr. Hassan Nehmeh, a thoracic surgeon and the hospital’s thoracic surgical director, said at the news conference.
On Sept. 6, the then-16-year-old, who was not identified due to the family’s request for privacy, was admitted to Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, where he was treated for suspected pneumonia. When his condition worsened, he was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where he was placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to help his lungs heal.
His condition continued to deteriorate, prompting his medical team to contact the lung transplant team at Henry Ford Hospital and begin coordinating his transfer.
On Oct. 3, three doctors from Henry Ford placed a portable ECMO machine in their personal car and drove to Children’s Hospital of Michigan. After the youth was switched to the mobile machine, paramedics transported him via ambulance to Henry Ford. There, he went on the transplant waiting list.
The CDC reported on Thursday that there had been 2,051 confirmed and probable U.S. lung injury cases and 39 deaths associated with e-cigarettes or vaping products.
Nearly 85 percent of lung injury patients in the nationwide outbreak have reported using products containing THC, the substance in marijuana that gets people high, although it was not clear if that was the case for the Michigan patient.
On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that lung samples taken from 29 patients with vaping-related injuries suggest all contained Vitamin E acetate, a discovery they hailed as a “breakthrough” in the investigation.
The Michigan boy was admitted to St. John’s Hospital in Detroit on September 5 with what appeared to be pneumonia and was intubated a week later as his ability to breathe worsened, doctors at Henry Ford said.
He arrived at Henry Ford on October 3 critically ill and suffering such severe lung damage that he was placed at the top of the list for a transplant, which was performed on October 15, the hospital said.
The young patient was given a “very good prognosis,” Henry Ford said but faces a long recovery.