U Of U Study Identifies Possible Breakthrough For Diagnosing Vaping Illnesses
Sep 10, 2019, 6:38 PM | Updated: Jul 16, 2023, 4:10 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Doctors at the University of Utah said they have identified problems within the lungs of patients who have been vaping that were not previously seen.
Officials said the find could be a major breakthrough when it comes to figuring out vaping related illnesses.
According to the study, which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors found the presence of fat-laden cells in the lungs, which could be related to vaping.
The study said those cells in the lungs contained numerous oily droplets, called lipid-laden macrophages.
“We think there is a possibility of some sort of substance in the vaping fluid that is creating this intense inflammation,” said Dr. Sanjeez Raman. “This is considered to be a vaping-related acute lung illness.”
However, doctors said they have not been able to identify the substance that is causing the illnesses.
“We don’t know exactly what it is that is causing the vaping related injury,” said Dr. Cheryl Pirozzi, assistant professor of pulmonary medicine.
They also don’t know why suddenly there is a major crisis across the nation of vaping related illnesses when vaping has been around for years.
“I don’t think we know the answer to that,” said Pirozzi. “I don’t think we have been able to identify the one ingredient.”
Oak McEntire uses a vape pen and said it has helped him cut down on cigarette smoking. He said he used to smoke a pack of cigarettes daily and is now no longer smoking.
But he was the first to admit he doesn’t recommend it.
“If you haven’t started don’t start it,” McEntire said. “It’s going to damage you.”
That’s the message from the Utah Department of Health, which has seen 35 severe cases linked to vaping in the last month. Plus, officials said they are investigating another 12 possible cases that could be related to vaping.
“To have 35 people that we know of to have gotten really sick after vaping is serious to us,” said Keegan McCaffrey, an epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health. “This is potentially deadly.”
Utah health officials said these cases stem from the use of a mix of nicotine and marijuana e-cigarette products. It has not found a specific product linked to all the cases.