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State investigating link between hospitalized teens with lung damage and vaping

MILWAUKEE (WKOW) — State health officials are investigating the possibility that a rash of cases of teens hospitalized with lung damage is connected to vaping.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin reported eight cases of hospitalized teenagers with seriously damaged lungs to the Wisconsin Department Health Services in July, according to a news release.

The state is currently investigating the possible causes of these illnesses, but all patients
reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to being hospitalized.

While an exact cause is unknown, the number of patients in such a short time frame is concerning.

With the increase in the use of e-cigarettes and vaping, parents and teens need to be aware of the potential danger. E-cigarette cartridges can contain toxic chemicals that have been shown to damage the lungs. Because these products are still new, the long-term effects of use are not fully understood.

The symptoms that led to hospitalization include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough and weight loss.

The severity has varied, with some patients needing assistance in order to breathe.

Patients have shown improvement after treatment, however, long-term effects are not known.

It is believed prolonged or continued exposure to these chemicals could lead to more serious health issues like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a permanent condition which makes the lungs less effective at transporting oxygen and is permanent.

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