In recent months, hundreds of people in the US have been acutely ill and even died from vapors. These cases were largely tied to black market products made with toxic additives . However, a recent UK case study seems to prove that in rare cases even legal e-cigarettes can cause life-threatening lung disease in consumers.
According to Jayesh Mahendra Bhatt, a pediatric lung specialist at Nottingham University In hospitals in the UK, the patient was a 16-year-old boy with no existing health problems. In 2017, however, he visited the emergency room after a week of fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.
An earlier dose of antibiotics and asthma medication had not helped him, and soon the boy came to the emergency room, his lungs. "He was hospitalized and connected to a respirator, but his condition worsened and he suffered severe respiratory failure. For the next three days, he kept alive and needed an artificial lung to take in oxygen and remove his blood.
"We hold e-cigarettes at our risk for & # 39; much safer than tobacco."
As far as his doctors could tell, the boy had no serious respiratory infection or suddenly developed asthma explaining why his Lungs stopped so fast. As he gradually recovered and spoke again, the only probable explanation that turned out was his recent history of using e-cigarettes. In particular, he remembered how he had evaporated two nicotine-filled e-liquids before his symptoms began; These e-liquids were both purchased at the store but contained different flavors.
The patient improved enough to leave the hospital one month after admission. But he experienced complications in the treatment, which sent him back to the emergency department and led to another hospital stay. During this time, a sample of his lung tissue and blood was taken for further study. It would take 14 months for his lung function to return to normal.
Bhatt and his team wrote in the Archives of Disease in Childhood on the case. And according to them, the boy probably had a so-called hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), which was caused by exposure to e-cigarettes.
"The pieces all seemed to go well together," said Bhatt Gizmodo.
The lungs of people with HP develop an unusual immune reaction to a trigger in the environment – historically, things like mold, dust or chemicals. This reaction is not like a typical food or skin allergy. These allergies are triggered by an antibody type called IgE, and people experience symptoms very quickly after being exposed to a trigger. However, other Ig antibodies, including one called IgM, are thought to be responsible for HP, and the symptoms often appear long after exposure.
In the case of the boy, during his initial hospital admission, he was given a skin prick test to detect IgE allergy to one of the two e-liquids he used. It did not turn out, but eight hours later he had a severe rebound in his symptoms. This delayed response, the authors wrote, would be expected from someone with HP. Later, when his blood was tested for IgM antibodies to one of the e-liquids, the doctors found specific antibodies to one of the fluids.
T His type of hypersensitivity is both rare and complex . diagnose. This is mainly because people usually develop non-IgE antibodies against many things without showing symptoms. In this case, for example, physicians also developed IgM antibodies to the same e-fluid as a healthy control compared to their patient. Even if someone is hypersensitive to a particular trigger, it often takes months or years for people to be exposed longer until they get sick. Another time, Bhatt noted, is believed to be that factors such as a recent infection kill a switch in the immune system that suddenly makes someone hypersensitive to a trigger. His lungs and the lack of other clear explanations suggest that e-cigarettes here are the To bear blame, said Bhatt. And this is not the first HP case associated with the chemicals found in e-cigarettes – cases such as this that occurred before the current outbreak of vapor disease in the US Experts theorized [HP] that HP could help explain at least some of these newer cases, especially the small minority that only associated with e-cigarettes and not with dodgy additives such as vitamin E acetate was brought.
Bhatt and his team believe that their patient's experience should be a warning story.
"There are two important lessons here," they wrote. "The first is always to consider a reaction to e-cigarettes in people with atypical respiratory disease. The second is that we consider e-cigarettes to be "much safer than tobacco" at our risk.
As for the boy, Bhatt said two years later: "He is doing very well. "