Teen who received double lung transplant for vaping illness was “days” from death, doctors say

“What I saw in his lungs was something I’ve never seen before…and I’ve been doing lung transplants for 20 years”

In a press conference on Tuesday, doctors at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital revealed that they have performed the first double lung transplant on a teenage patient with a vaping-related illness — a major development in the growing EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury) crisis.

“Our teenage patient would have faced certain death if it weren’t for the lung transplant,” Hassan Nemeh, MD, a thoracic surgery specialist in Detroit who participated in the transplant, told reporters. Nemeh and other doctors from Henry Ford described the patient as a 16-year-old male who was admitted to a Detroit-area local hospital in early September for what appeared to be pneumonia.

But as the teen’s condition worsened, he was transferred to the intensive care unit at Detroit Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with EVALI and put on life support. As he continued to deteriorate, the teen was put on the list for a lung transplant and — because of his age and the severity of his condition — he was granted a transplant in mid-October.

Doctors said that the teen was a “matter of days” before dying if it hadn’t been for the transplant. The surgery, which took roughly six hours, was done to fully replace both lungs. Nemeh, a longtime surgeon, said that the appearance of the lungs was worse than he expected. “What I saw in his lungs was something I’ve never seen before — and I’ve been doing lung transplants for 20 years,” Nemeh told reporters Tuesday. “There was an enormous amount of inflammation … the lung was so scarred that we had to literally deliver it out of the chest. This is an evil I haven’t faced before.”

Read more: yahoo