A Canadian teenager has developed a dangerous vapil disease that is unlike lung disease seen in US patients. Instead, it looks like workers from lung damage at a microwave popcorn factory, developed years ago, from inhaling the aroma of oil.
Doctors said a healthy 17-year-old youth had been viping heavily for months and used several products he had purchased online through a Canadian retailer before becoming ill last spring. The products come in a variety of flavors: green apple, mountain dew and cotton candy.
The boy's family said he took a deep breath when vaping, and regularly added THC, the main ingredient in marijuana that gives consumers high, for his devices.
"Our patient and his family want the public to know that what happened to him can happen to anyone," said Dr. Karen Bosma, lead author of the report and a critical care physician at the London Center for Health Sciences in Ontario, Canada. She is also an Associate Scholar at the Lawson Institute for Health Research.
Bosma and his colleagues reported the case to the boy Thursday at the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
The youth was admitted to the hospital a week after developing a cough. that she could not shake, along with fever and difficulty breathing. His lung function deteriorated rapidly and he temporarily ended his life support.
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It narrowly avoids the need for a double lung transplant, doctors said, but it appears to remain with chronic lung damage. The young man's lungs show injuries to his airways, and he has difficulty exhaling carbon dioxide.
Despite the similarities in the symptoms, the young man's lung disease looks slightly different from more than 2000 cases in the US
Many patients in the US have damage in the small air sacs responsible for passing oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out lungs.
Doctors in the Canadian case failed to find this type of damage. Instead, they saw a different species that resembled what is commonly known as "lung popcorn."
The term "popcorn" comes from sick workers in a microwave popcorn factory developed nearly two decades ago: a condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. Several were so ill that they were targeted for lung transplants.
A long investigation reveals that the cause of the disease is inhalation of diacetyl, an oily aroma. It is no longer used by most large companies that produce microwave popcorn.
It is not clear whether the same chemical was found in the e-liquids of a Canadian boy.
In the summer, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was considering adding diacetyl to the list of chemicals found in tobacco products that are known to be harmful. The chemical flavor is approved for use in food but not in aerosol products.
Teenage addiction experts say it's the scent of e-cigarettes that is so enticing to young people. The Trump administration appears to have abandoned the proposed flavor ban, although the FDA has the authority to move forward with such a restriction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to update their weekly number of vaping-related diseases. later on Thursday.
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