Mysterieuze vapenziekten veroorzaken levensbedreigende longletsels en zelfs de dood. Dit is wat we weten over de mensen die tot nu toe zijn getroffen.


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woman vaping vape e-cig e-cigarette
Some users may be vaping things other than nicotine, like THC, complicating the investigation and leaving many unanswered questions.
Shutterstock
  • Between June 28 and September 6, there have been 450 total possible cases of vape-related lung illness, according to the CDC. Five have resulted in death.
  • Both a lack of FDA regulation and the sheer number of different e-cigarettes and juices on the market have made it difficult for health experts to pinpoint the cause of each of the lung illnesses.
  • The FDA and CDC announced they are investigating these products in light of the lung problems to which they’ve been linked.
  • Here’s what we know about some of the people who’ve been affected so far.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

Since e-cigarettes’ mainstream inception, advocates have touted the devices as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. But now, as hospitalizations and deaths linked to the devices mount across the United States, health experts and consumers alike are concerned about their dangers.

Between June 28 and September 6, there have been 450 total possible cases of vape-related lung illness, according to the CDC. Five have resulted in death.

Both a lack of FDA regulation and the sheer number of different e-cigarettes and juices on the market have made it difficult for health experts to pinpoint the cause of each of the lung illnesses, or see if a common cause links all of the cases.

Additionally, some users may be vaping things other than nicotine, like THC, complicating the investigation and leaving many unanswered questions. The FDA and CDC announced they are investigating these products in light of the lung problems to which they’ve been linked.

“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.

Here’s what we know so far about the people who have been hospitalized or have died from a vaping-related lung illness.

An unnamed Wisconsin man bought THC vape vials off the street and was later put into a medically induced coma after using them.

“He was not breathing on his own at all yesterday. His heart was weak. They weren’t sure he was going to make it,” his brother said.
ArisSu/iStock

In July, Patrick DeGrave’s 26-year-old brother, who was not publicly named, was hospitalized for being in critical condition after vaping THC, according to Fox 6 Now.

“He was not breathing on his own at all yesterday. His heart was weak. They weren’t sure he was going to make it,” DeGrave said.

DeGrave also said his brother had bought the THC-containing cartridge off the street in Wisconsin, a sign it may have been tampered with.

20-year-old Alexander Mitchell from Utah almost died after developing lipoid pneumonia from vaping.

Mitchell, not pictured, said he vaped every day.
Getty Images

A person can get lipoid pneumonia if fat or oil gets into the lungs, and nicotine-containing vape juices used to power the devices often have some kind of oil, likely causing the scary reaction.

According to Mitchell, “everything started going downhill” the day after he bought a bottle of vape juice to use for his daily vape habit. His symptoms of shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain eventually escalated and he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, where fluid collects in the lungs and stops the proper flow of oxygen.

Due to Mitchell’s status, he was put on life support, but he is now back home and doing okay.

“I’m at 25% diminished lung capacity now,” Mitchell told KUTV. “Vaping’s promoted as a safer alternative when, in reality, it’s not.”

Mitchell’s doctors said it could take one to four years for his lungs to return to their full capacity.

31-year-old Sean Bills of Utah is also in a medically induced coma after vaping.

A coma patient (not Bills) has his brain parameters stimulated with flash lights to understand when he is ready to be stimulated.
Reuters

Bills’ wife Tiffani told Fox 13 Salt Lake City that doctors believe vaping caused his illness, which like Mitchell, was diagnosed as lipoid pneumonia.

The days prior to Bills’ hospitalization, his wife said he started feeling shortness of breath, which was strange because he was otherwise healthy.

Following Bills’ life-threatening experience, Tiffani too has sworn off vaping.

“Stop,” Tiffani told Fox 13. “Stop right now before it gets worse. I mean, it’s not worth your life.”

On August 23, an unnamed person in Illinois died from a severe respiratory illness.

Illinois officials asked the CDC to help them investigate the cases.
Flickr/Vaping360

Although little information exists on the person who died following a vape-related lung illness, officials noted that a total of 22 cases of vape-related lung injuries had been reported in the state.

18-year-old Simah Herman said she started having severe nausea two years ago and was recently placed on life support because of her lung injury.

“The dangers of vaping are real,” Herman wrote in an Instagram post.
Thomson Reuters

Herman, a Long Beach, New York, resident gained attention after sharing an Instagram post from her hospital bed. The post shows her holding a sign that says “I want to start a no vaping campaign,” while she has a breathing tube down her throat, the Daily Mail reported.

In addition to the nausea Herman started having two years ago, she also started experiencing problems eating and sleeping. In 48 hours’ time she ended up going into respiratory failure from vaping, which landed her in the hospital and on life support.

“It took less than 48 hours for me to be put in a drug induced coma and a tube put down my throat because I could no longer breathe on my own. The dangers of vaping are real and this can happen to you. Please don’t let it,” Herman wrote in her Instagram post.

On September 6, Minnesota officials reported a 65-year-old with a history of lung disease died. His lung injuries were linked to vaping THC products.

The man was in the hospital for a long, although undisclosed, amount of time and had various health complications.
Sapol Chairatkaewcharoen/Shutterstock

According to officials, the man was in the hospital for some time because of his lung problems and eventually developed other health problems, which were undisclosed.

In a press release Minnesota State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said that the man’s lung injuries were linked to his use of an illegal THC-containing vape pen.

In Minnesota, there are 17 total reported vape-related lung illness cases.

An 18-year-old needed surgery for a blistered and collapsed lung after using a marijuana vape.

He said he bought the THC vape at a rock concert pop-up.
nimon/Shutterstock

Junaid Khan, a heart and lung surgeon in Oakland, California, who treated the teen, said he can’t definitely say the injury is vaping-related, but it appears to be.

“It could be something else, but there’s definitely an association,” Khan previously told Insider.

The teen came to Khan for treatment of a blistered lung, but after examining the teen, Khan found his lung was also collapsed. The scary condition happens when air leaks into the space between the chest wall and the lung, making it hard to breathe, and can occur when a blister on the lung pops.

“He actually needed surgery to relieve that air, to allow the lung to expand, and subsequently the blister had to be taken out surgically,” Khan said.

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