Doctors at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital have performed a double-lung transplant on a person with a vaping-related lung injury.
The hospital system announced Monday that it believes it is the first in the country to perform the surgery on someone who had irreparable lung damage from vaping. It plans to host a news conference Tuesday to offer more details.
E-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury, also referred to as EVALI, has sickened more than 2,000 people in the U.S. and one U.S. territory since March, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among them, 39 people have died, including one person in Michigan.
All EVALI patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette or vape products. Many who got sick said they used vape products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the chemical that causes most of marijuana’s psychoactive effects.
While the CDC has yet to pinpoint any one compound or ingredient that has caused these illnesses, health officials say they have associated vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC products, with EVALI. The CDC reported last week that vitamin E acetate is “a very strong culprit” in the vape-related lung injuries.
More: Health officials: 81% of Michigan’s vape-related lung injuries involved THC
More: Don’t toss vaping devices: They’re hazardous waste and a fire risk
Until more is known, the CDC recommends people:
- Refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products, especially those that contain THC.
- Avoid buying any e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly those containing THC, off the street.
- Do not modify or add any substances to e-cigarette or vape products that are not intended by the manufacturer
Adults using e-cigarettes to quit smoking should not go back to smoking; they should weigh all risks and benefits and consider utilizing FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies.
Contact Kristen Jordan Shamus: 313-222-5997 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus.