A TEENAGER says that vaping everyday for three years left her in a coma after it caused her to develop a rare lung disease.
Maddie Nelson started feeling nauseous earlier this year but last month she began to experience intense back pain.
The 18-year-old, of Utah, US, was rushed to hospital where her symptoms quickly worsened, FOX 13 reported.
Doctors found that she had acute eosinophilic pneumonia – a rare disease caused by a build-up of white blood cells in the lungs in response to inflammation.
She was placed on a ventilator after being unable to breathe on her own and put into a medically-induced coma for three days.
Maddie was given steroids to help combat the inflammation and still needs oxygen at night for tightness in her chest.
Earlier this month, she shared photos of her in the hospital as she urged people to quit vaping.
She wrote: “I am sharing my story so you all are aware that there is something crazy in these pens that is not safe and almost cost me my life.
“I used to just tell myself it won’t happen to me, but it can and will happen to you too…take my advice, don’t smoke, don’t vape. #vape #stopthevape.”
There is something crazy in these pens that is not safe and almost cost me my life… don’t smoke, don’t vape
Maddie says she started vaping zero nicotine liquids three years ago, before gradually increasing to 3mg of nicotine.
Earlier this year, she started to lose her appetite and was vomiting up everything she ate.
Then on July 27, Maddie began experiencing intense back and kidney pain as well as a high fever.
She told Fox 13: “My temperature was so high, my brain just completely shut off.
“I thought I was in the hospital for one night, and I was actually there for four days.”
Maddie was struggling to breathe and despite being given oxygen, she continued to deteriorate and had to be transferred to intensive care.
According to a GoFundMe page set up to cover her medical costs, her situation went from serious to potentially fatal.
A chest X-ray revealed severe damage to her lungs and her family decided it was best she was put into a coma.
Her sister Andrea, writing on the page, said: ” This was a hard decision for us to make, her condition seemed to be getting worse fast and we were scared we may never be able to talk to our sister again.”
Her condition seemed to be getting worse fast and we were scared we may never be able to talk to our sister again
Maddie was diagnosed with acute eosinophilic pneumonia, which can cause shortness of breath, a cough, fatigue, fever and unexplained weight loss.
The exact cause is unknown, however experts suspect a change in smoking habits or medications can be triggers.
Maddie said doctors told her that her illness was likely caused by vaping.
She said: “When you inhale the moisture [from e-liquids], it’s just creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow inside your lungs and for infection to start.
“And that is basically what happened.”
Maddie was brought out of the coma on August 3 and has been breathing and eating on her own since.
Her family are hopeful she will make a full recovery.
Doctors said her X-ray was one of the worst they had ever seen and plan to use it as a teaching material.
It comes a man from America died of lung disease last week in what is believed to be the world’s first vaping-related death.
Authorities haven’t identified the man who died but he is known to have lived in the state of Illinois and was between the ages of 17 and 38 at the time of his death.
How safe are e-cigarettes in the UK?
In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality.
They’re not completely risk free, but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes.
E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
The liquid and vapour contain some potentially harmful chemicals also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.
While nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, it’s relatively harmless.
Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.
Nicotine replacement therapy has been widely used for many years to help people stop smoking and is a safe treatment.
There’s no evidence so far that vaping causes harm to other people around you.
This is in contrast to secondhand smoke from smoking, which is known to be very harmful to health.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says nearly 200 people have contracted severe respiratory illnesses after vaping.
Every one of those affected was an adult or teenager who had used some kind of vaping device or electronic cigarette.
Doctors say their illnesses looked like inhalation injuries where the lungs reacted to a caustic substance.
All the cases have been recorded since June 2018.
The UK government has previously promoted vaping as an alternative to traditional tobacco smoking.
But academics in Britain say more research is needed into their long-term effects and regulation needs to be increased.
There are also concerns about the number of young people who take up vaping because the products still contain the addictive substance nicotine.
Some vaping flavours used in vaping devices have even been found to produce a toxic reaction.
The UK is currently bound by EU regulations on the amount of nicotine an e-cigarette can have, while levels in the US are much higher.
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