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19-year-old Woman Put on Ventilator After Vaping Causes Lung Damage

Vape lung damage

A 19-year-old woman who doctors say was on the verge of death had to be put on a ventilator after vaping left her lungs looking like “shattered glass.” According to a news report in the Daily Mail, the teen went to the emergency room with a fever, trouble breathing, and insufficient blood oxygen levels.

While she was initially diagnosed with pneumonia and treated with antibiotics, doctors were left perplexed after the medication failed to improve her situation.

Severe Symptoms Lead to EVALI Lung Diagnosis

Scans showed translucent spots all over her lungs, which means her lungs were filled with fluid as well as tissue damage. It was then that doctors diagnosed her with E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury, also known as EVALI. This condition has been a concern for several years now, during a period when youth vape use has skyrocketed.

Public health records show that around 2,800 patients were hospitalized in the United States because of EVALI in 2020, of which 15% were teenagers, which officials believe could be indicative of a “small epidemic” of such cases across the United States.

The young woman in question suffered symptoms for a week before she was hospitalized, including fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath even while resting.

According to the Daily Mail report, when she went into the doctor, they could not detect the lung damage because she did not undergo any diagnostic testing needed to see those abnormalities, such as CT or MRI scans. So, they prescribed her antibiotics based on the symptoms she was exhibiting. The patient reported vaping daily over the last month.

What is EVALI and Why is it Dangerous?

EVALI, or E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury, emerged as a serious health concern closely linked to vaping. The inhalation of toxic substances added to the vaping liquid is what causes it, which is essentially a respiratory illness that could look like other infections.

It first garnered attention in 2019 when clusters of cases involving severe lung injuries were reported across the United States. EVALI primarily affects individuals who use e-cigarettes or vape pens, often containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or nicotine. Symptoms of EVALI include respiratory distress, coughing, chest pain, and gastrointestinal issues.

The exact cause of EVALI was initially unclear. Still, it was eventually linked to the use of vaping products containing vitamin E acetate, an additive used in THC-containing e-cigarette products. Vitamin E acetate, when inhaled, was found to coat the lungs and interfere with normal lung function, leading to inflammation and severe respiratory symptoms.

This discovery prompted health authorities to issue warnings against using vaping products containing THC, especially those obtained from informal or illicit sources.

This EVALI epidemic has underscored the potential dangers of vaping and highlighted gaps in regulatory oversight of vaping products. It has prompted lawmakers to introduce legislation aimed at restricting the sale of flavored vaping products and enhancing product safety standards.

EVALI raises some serious red flags about the risks associated with vaping and emphasizes the importance of public health measures to protect consumers, particularly young people who are most likely to use e-cigarettes.

Surge in E-Cigarette Use Among U.S. Youth

Vaping use among youth in the United States has been a significant public health concern in recent years. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) reported that in 2020, about 19.6% of high school students and 4.7% of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use.

This marked a decline from previous years but still indicates a substantial number of young people using vaping products.

The popularity of e-cigarettes among youth has been attributed to various factors, including the perception that vaping is less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes, the availability of flavored e-cigarettes, and aggressive marketing strategies targeting young people. E-cigarette companies have used social media and celebrities to sell these harmful products to young people.

They have even lured children to use these products with fruit and candy flavors that might attract that demographic, such as cotton candy, bubble gum and cherry.

The use of e-cigarettes among youth has raised concerns due to the potential long-term health effects of nicotine exposure during adolescence, as well as the risks associated with other harmful chemicals present in vaping aerosols.

Efforts to curb youth vaping have included regulatory measures such as raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products to 21, banning flavored e-cigarettes, and implementing public education campaigns. No question continued monitoring and intervention are crucial to address the persistent use of e-cigarettes among youth and curb its potential health impacts.

How Can E-Cigarette Manufacturers Be Held Liable?

E-cigarettes have been associated with a wide range of health risks, leading to potential product liability issues for manufacturers. One significant concern is the impact of vaping products on respiratory health. Studies have shown that the aerosols produced by e-cigarettes can contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, acrolein, and heavy metals like lead and nickel.

Prolonged exposure to these substances through vaping may contribute to respiratory issues, including lung inflammation, asthma exacerbation, and in severe cases, respiratory failure. Many of these products have been linked to severe lung damage that could lead to permanent injury and even death.

Another health risk associated with e-cigarettes is nicotine addiction. Many e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health, including increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Nicotine exposure during adolescence, when the brain is still developing, may also lead to long-term cognitive and behavioral changes.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes can be held liable for putting products out that cause irreparable harm and injury to consumers and also for failing to provide adequate warnings to consumers about these health risks. Manufacturers must provide clear and accurate warnings about the potential dangers associated with their products.

Failure to do so can lead to claims that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks of using their e-cigarettes, thereby contributing to any resulting harm.

What Damages Can You Seek?

If you experience health problems as a result of using vaping products or e-cigarettes, you may be able to seek compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. You may be able to seek damages for medical expenses related to your vaping-related illness, including hospital bills, medication costs, and therapy fees.

Additionally, you may seek compensation for lost wages or loss of earning capacity if your illness prevents you from working or significantly impacts your ability to earn income.

In cases of severe health issues or long-term disabilities caused by vaping, you may also pursue compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life.

To pursue these claims, seeking the counsel of an experienced California product liability lawyer who has handled e-cigarette injury cases and can offer a free consultation and case evaluation is crucial.


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