Vaping-related double lung transplant performed at Detroit hospital

(Photo By Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Doctors at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit performed what they believe is the first double lung transplant in the U.S. for a male patient whose lungs were irreparably damaged after vaping, according to the hospital.

There’s a press conference Tuesday to discuss what happened and doctors will offer an update on the patient’s condition.

He has asked the hospital to let the public know about his injuries and to see pictures, to “warn others,” according to the hospital, but has also asked for privacy, so he will not attend the press conference.

The number of vaping-related injuries has climbed to at least 2,051, as of November 5, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The injuries have happened to patients in every state in the country with the exception of Alaska. So far there have been at least 40 deaths reported by state health departments.

The CDC is working closely with local health departments and the US Food and Drug Administration to pinpoint what exactly is causing these illnesses. It doesn’t appear that any one product is to blame, although many cases seem to be linked to products bought “off the street” or from some other “informal sources,” such as a family or friend, rather than from a vaping store, according to the CDC.

THC has been present in most of the samples of vaping products that the FDA has tested so far, and most of the patients who have gotten sick said they had used THC-products in the past.

On Friday, the CDC said Vitamin E acetate, an additive sometimes used in THC and other vaping products, may be to blame for the national outbreak, but said additional factors may be to blame, as well.

The CDC is also trying to figure out what the risk factors may be, if there are any, among those who have gotten sick.

In the wake of these injuries, some states and cities have placed limits on sales of vaping products. Some of these actions are now being challenged in court. Some stores, including Walgreens and Walmart, have also stopped selling vaping products.

President Donald Trump promised in September to take action and his administration has looked at a possible flavor ban, but so far nothing has happened.

Until the public health investigation is complete, the CDC suggests people refrain from using all vaping products with THC, no matter where people buy them.

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