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Vaping is associated with dozens of hospital stays, cases of lung damage in the Midwest: shots



Vaping has been associated with a number of hospitalizations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

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Vaping has been linked to a series of hospitalizations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

sestovic / Getty Images

When Dylan Nelson was taken to ICU in July with breathing difficulties, his mother, Kim Barnes, guessed that it was only his asthma that was getting worse again. But when she arrived at the hospital in Burlington, Wisconsin, he could not speak. He was intubated. His blood oxygen content was only 10%. He was put into a medically induced coma.

Barnes told the nurse she was worried that she would never see her 26-year-old son again. The nurse calmed her.

"And she said," We've already treated an 18-year-old like this, and we know two more cases in Milwaukee, "Barnes recalls," but they all had a common denominator, "the nurse said," they all have fumes The Wisconsin Department of Health has confirmed 15 cases of patients like Dylan Nelson, who have been hospitalized in Wisconsin hospitals with severe lung injury since July, and suspects 15 more similar cases, ranging from teenagers to men and women in The only factor that patients seem to have in common is a vaping history.

Six similar cases have been reported in Illinois, four in Minnesota, and now the disease control and prevention centers are working with the health departments in these states, as well as with Indiana and California, to find out what exactly is the cause of a "confluence g of lung diseases "is & # 39; Vape Juice & # 39; “/>

The cluster was first discovered by the Wisconsin Children's Hospital in Milwaukee, where eight previously healthy adolescents with severe lung injury were hospitalized. The rapid onset of symptoms included cough, weight loss and significant difficulty breathing. Like Dylan Nelson, some patients even had to be admitted to intensive care.

"When the clinical team tried to gain a better understanding of what this might cause, it turned out that the previous factor was that they were patients." Michael Gutzeit, chief physician of the hospital.

Alarmed that this could be a health problem, the public alerted the Wisconsin Department of Health.

"This is perfect An example of how public health should work," says Thomas Haupt, epidemiologist for respiratory diseases at the Wisconsin Department of Health, and help us with this investigation, "says Haupt.

The department issued a warning message In three weeks, the department had confirmed 15 cases and suspected a further 15. According to the head, the investigation of the cluster is still ongoing, asking all patients for similarities and have sent a few vaping cartridges – which are believed to contain THC oil – to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for investigation.

"So far, the only thing common among all these people was vaping," says Haupt nd notes that the investigation could possibly reveal other causes.

A spokesperson for the CDC, the NPR was confirmed, the agency's health departments in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and California, "helps to investigate whether the diseases are related to certain ingredients or contaminants in the devices or substances the use of e-cigarettes. "

And according to Gutzeit, the Wisconsin Children's Hospital sees a new case every week. He says many of these patients come in because they've heard reports in the news.

Dylan Nelson can not remember anything that led to his ordeal and does not even arrive at the hospital. His first memory is the awakening from the coma intubated in his hospital bed.

"It was very uncomfortable: every time I coughed with the tube in my mouth, liquid from my lungs entered the tube and she needed to suck the tube," he recalls.

He says he put it together that vaping was part of what led to his hospitalization. The doctors told him about other similar cases. He says he vaporizes THC oil from a cartridge he bought cheaply from a friend.

"The oil in the cartridge was really watered down and it was piss-pink, it should not have that color, it's supposed to be dark amber," he says.

Nelson had worked in a factory before his ordeal. After he had no work for the week he spent in the hospital, he was released. Within days, he found a new job in another factory that worked on the 12-hour service five days a week.

When it comes to steaming, he says he's done.

"Life is short, do not give it a whirl," he says.

And now he warns others, the vapors: "If you want to smoke, stick to the pharmacies, do not buy things from the street that you do not know where they came from."


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