A man from Utah has been put in a medically induced coma after vaping gave him lipoid pneumonia, his family have said.
Sean Bills, 31, was admitted to hospital on Saturday (August 17) after suffering with shortness of breath and feeling unable to breathe, before he was placed in the coma.
His wife, Tiffani Bills, said doctors at Jordan Valley Hospital believe vaping caused Sean’s health to deteriorate, after the Utah Department of Health recently launched an investigation into severe lung disease cases potentially related to vaping.
As reported by Fox 13 News, the otherwise healthy father-of-three vaped daily for two years before he was admitted to hospital, only becoming aware something was wrong around two weeks ago.
Tiffani told the news station:
Beginning with shortness of breath and pain and unable to breathe. That’s why he’s in a coma right now because he can’t breathe on his own.
Saying Sean’s illness came ‘out of nowhere’, Tiffani said he is currently the fifth person in critical condition at the hospital because of vaping.
She explained how Sean’s pneumonia was likely caused by inhaling fat particles within the e-cigarettes, adding she quit vaping when her husband was admitted to the hospital.
Tiffani urged others to do the same, before it’s too late:
Stop. Stop right now, before it gets worse. I mean, it’s not worth your life.
The Utah Department of Health is currently working with local health departments and healthcare providers after five individuals across the state experienced ‘serious’ breathing problems after vaping.
According to health officials, the patients experienced ‘shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and cough,’ with symptoms worsening over a period of days or weeks before they were admitted to hospital.
All five patients were hospitalised, with some needing assistance to breathe. As per the Utah Department of Health: ‘While patients have improved with treatment, it is unknown whether there will be long-term health effects’.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also providing consultation to departments of health in five states after 94 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping were reported in 14 states from June 28, 2019, to August 15, 2019 – including 30 cases in Wisconsin.
Their investigation is ongoing, with the health protection agency saying that while the cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to the use of e-cigarettes, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses.
Individuals who experience any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping are being advised to seek medical attention immediately.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).