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Doctors just performed what appears to be the first double-lung transplant for a patient suffering from vaping-related injury.
The 17-year-old patient had been sustained on an ECMO machine, which helps support heart and lung function, for more than a month before undergoing surgery, his medical team reported during a news conference today (Nov. 12). "He wouldn't have survived even minutes without it," said Dr. Hassan Nemeh, a thoracic surgeon at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit who helped conduct the operation.
Lung - Transplant - Place - Oct - Hours
The lung transplant itself took place on Oct. 15 and took about six hours to perform. Now, the teenager can breathe without support and is undergoing physical therapy to regain his strength, his doctors said. The teenage patient's condition was so poor that quickly he got bumped to the top of the national waiting list for lung transplants, Nemeh said. (A standardized scoring system determines who needs transplants most urgently, not the doctors themselves, he added.)
"The lung itself was so firm and scarred — this is an evil that I haven't faced before," Nemeh said. CT scans of the teenager's lungs revealed extensive inflammation and scarring of the tissue. The areas of the organ that contain air typically appear black on a CT scan; but in the patient, hardly any black showed up at all on his scan. Spots of dead tissue speckled both lungs, signalling to the medical team that the damage was "irreversible," said Victor Coba, a specialist in critical care medicine at Henry Ford who also treated the patient.
Patient - Hospital - Months - Instructions - Health
The patient, who was only 16 when first admitted to hospital, will take months to fully recover and will have to adhere to particular instructions to maintain his health in the long term, his doctors said.
The patient did not participate in the news conference but asked...
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