Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit said they believe it was the first double-lung transplant on a person with the vaping-related illness

By Julie Mazziotta
November 12, 2019 11:41 AM
woman smoking e-cigarette
Credit: Getty

Doctors in Detroit performed a double-lung transplant on a vaping illness victim with irreparable lung damage.

Staff at Henry Ford Hospital announced Monday that they believe that this is the first double-lung transplant in the U.S. on a person with damage from vaping, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The hospital said they will hold a press conference on Tuesday with updates on the patient’s condition. The patient, who is male, decided to remain anonymous and will not be at the press conference, but asked the hospital to share his story to “warn others” about the dangers of vaping.

Cases of severe lung illness from vaping, termed EVALI, have soared to over 2,000, with 39 deaths, the Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday. They determined in September that the majority of cases came from THC-containing e-cigarettes but were unable to find the cause until last week, when new research pointed to vitamin E acetate — an additive oil used in the making of e-cigarettes — as the possible culprit.

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CDC officials called it a “breakthrough” in their ongoing investigation.

“This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries,” the CDC said in a statement. “CDC continues to recommend that people should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC, particularly from informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers.”

Michigan state legislators had tried to ban flavored vape pods in October, but a judge issued a preliminary injunction on the ban on Oct. 15.