Vaping damage is 'evil I haven't seen before,' Henry Ford lung transplant surgeon says

A 17-year-old patient underwent what is believed to be the first vaping-related double lung transplant in the U.S. at Detroit-based Henry Ford Hospital Oct. 15.

The patient, whose lungs were irreparably damaged from vaping, has a good prognosis, though recovery will be long, the hospital said in a news release.

Before the surgery, the patient's lungs were almost invisible on a CT scan, Hassan Nemeh, MD, surgical director of thoracic organ transplant at Henry Ford Hospital and one of the surgeons who performed the transplant, told The New York Times.  

"What I saw in his lungs is like nothing I've seen before, and I've been doing lung transplants for 20 years. This is an evil I haven't faced before," Dr. Nemeh said.

The events leading up to the transplant were sudden. The patient was admitted to Detroit-based Ascension St. John Hospital Sept. 5 with pneumonia-like symptoms and intubated Sept. 12 as his ability to breathe worsened. He was transferred to Detroit-based Children's Hospital of Michigan Sept. 17, where an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation device kept him alive.

The patient was critically ill when he arrived at Henry Ford Hospital Oct. 3. He was put at the top of the transplant waiting list due to the severity of his condition. After the successful transplant Oct. 15, the patient came off the ventilator Oct. 27 and is now working on walking again.

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Before the surgery, the patient's lungs were almost invisible on a CT scan, Hassan Nemeh, MD, one of the surgeons who performed the transplant, told The New York Times.

"What I saw in his lungs is like nothing I've seen before, and I've been doing lung transplants for 20 years. This is an evil I haven't faced before," Dr. Nemeh said.

 

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