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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In a study just published in the medical journal “Pediatrics,” UPMC doctors detailed the case of an 18-year-old Pennsylvania teenager, a restaurant hostess, who recently started vaping.
The girl ended up in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital of UPMC. After being treated with antibiotics, she eventually recovered.
The co-author of the study, Dr. Allyson Larkin, said the teenager’s symptoms went from bad to worse when she started vaping and eventually ended up in respiratory failure. They called it Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
“Vaping is not a safe thing to do, and you can get very sick vaping as evidenced by what happened to this girl,” Dr. Larkin said. “She required care in the ICU.”
According to the new study, the girl required a respirator to help her breath until her lungs recovered, and tubes had to be inserted into both sides of her chest to drain fluid from her lungs.
“I think we should be teaching our children not to smoke and not to vape. They’re both very dangerous,” Dr. Larkin said. “The message should be that children should not get involved in either of them because serious health consequences can happen from both.”
The Vapor Galleria, on Pittsburgh’s South Side, is a former dress shop. Owner Gary McBurney opened his vape shop there a year and a half ago.
McBurney is taking issue with the UPMC study and wonders if there could have been other underlying issues with the teenager becoming ill.
McBurney told KDKA-TV News, “Vaping does not cause pneumonia, it can cause popcorn pneumonia because of what might be in some of the stuff from China. If you vape, and do what the product says, you are 100 percent safe.”
Dr. Larkin said while the teenager’s illness cited in the study was just one case, “it demonstrates, if you don’t know what you’re inhaling or smoking, you can end up very, very sick.”