Illinois health officials have announced that they are investigating what could be the first possible vaping death in the United States.
Possible Vaping Death as Vaping Illnesses Rise
On August 23, 2019, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that a patient who contracted a serious lung disease after reporting vaping has died. The IDPH is not releasing more information about the possible vaping death victim in order to protect that person’s privacy. The agency said it had 22 confirmed cases of people who have vaped or used e-cigarettes and who have been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms, with twelve more cases being investigated.
Cases of possible vaping illnesses have been reported in Chicago and in Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, Peoria, St. Clair, and Will counties. It is unclear if these apparent vaping illness cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar symptoms.
Symptoms of vaping-related illness appear to include coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue, while some patients have also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.
“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, “and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous.”
The IDPH said it is working with local health departments, other state health departments, and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the names and types of e-cigarettes, vaping products, and devices used by its patients, as well as where they were obtained.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that nearly 150 such cases have been reported so far nationwide. According to the CDC, in many cases, patients have acknowledged to health care personnel their recent use of THC-containing products, but no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses.
Health officials urge anyone who is experiencing any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping or using e-cigarettes in the weeks or months prior to these symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.
Have You Been Injured by a Defective Product?
We are surrounded by products in our modern world. We trust that these products are safe, that they are manufactured with the best materials and under the best conditions by companies with the best of intentions, but what if they are not? What if you or a loved one is sickened or even killed because of vaping? How can you make sure that those who are responsible can be held accountable for their negligence?
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