Doctors puzzled by teen’s lung failure
A teenager was nearly killed by his vaping habit after his lungs collapsed.
Tryston Zohfeld was left fighting for life in intensive care after puffing on e-cigarettes.
The 17-year-old realised something was wrong when he began losing weight and felt wiped out.
He said: "I was tired all the time. My energy was low."
From there, his condition took a turn for the worse.
He began to suffer chills, was nauseous, struggled to catch his breath and suffered chest pain.
Worried, Tryston's mum took him to an urgent care clinic where he was given antibiotics and flu medication.
But 24 hours later, the teenager felt worse. His breathing was more difficult and something was clearly wrong.
"I woke up just throwing up everywhere, and my heart was beating out my chest going 100 miles an hour," the New York Post reported.
This time his mum took Tryston to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
Specialists placed him in a medically induced coma, hooking the teenager up to a ventilator.
"We had no idea if he was going to make it through or not, and that was very difficult to come to terms with," his father, Matt Zohfeld, told WFAA.
For 10 long days, the machines in intensive care kept Tryston alive.
Puzzled doctors performed tests to try and work out what had caused the teenager's sudden poor health.
They were perplexed after taking X-rays that "showed something that looked like pneumonia on both sides of his chest," according to the hospital.
But when they ran tests for infections, including pneumonia, none of them came back positive.
Dr Mary Whitworth, medical director of infectious diseases at the hospital, said: "I lost a lot of sleep over this kid.
"Was it an infection? No organism seemed to grow from cultures.
"Was it an auto-immune disease? The rheumatologists didn't think so.
"Even a lung biopsy - a piece of his lung which was cut out and examined under a microscope - didn't seem to hold any clear and obvious clue as to why he was so sick.
"His lungs just failed, and he was in something called respiratory distress."
It was only when a member of Tryston's family revealed that the teenager had been vaping for years, often going through two to three e-liquids a week, that medics realised what could be happening.
"The light bulb started coming on," his dad said.
"It started making sense why we weren't finding anything else."
Doctors said the chemicals he was inhaling from the e-cigarettes caused his lungs to inflame so much that he was unable to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
After an 18-day hospital stay, the teen has sworn off using e-cigarettes.
"This is really what could happen and it's not something to look over," the teen said.
"They're not as safe as you think."
Tryston's case comes as the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the "sudden emergence" of severe lung disease linked to vaping in 14 states.
Ninety-four possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping have been reported from the end of June to August 15, the CDC reports.
Dr Diane Arnaout, who was part of the team looking after Tryston, said: "Vaping is becoming very popular among teenagers. Statistics show 45 per cent of US teens have tried it."
She added that medics are seeing kids as young as five try the devices.
"They have different 'fun flavours' like mango, creme brulee and fruit medley," she said.
"Some of the devices are even cute, with teddy bears on them.
"They're more addictive than cigarettes.
"And though they claim to be a "healthier option" to regular cigarettes, I beg to differ.
"Inhaling chemicals is inhaling chemicals.
"There are more than 40 different chemicals in vaping liquids. And they can cause some major damage.
"They can hurt delicate lung tissue. We are seeing more and more reports of teenagers and young adults suffering severe lung injuries and seizures coming out in the news lately.
"I'm really worried about how addictive these things are. Kids who want to quit are finding it more difficult to do so than if they'd smoked a pack a day."
Meanwhile Dr Whitworth said while they can't be certain vaping caused Tryston's lungs to fail, it's the only explanation she can find.
"It is very plausible that it could be due to his vaping," she said.
And Dr Arnaout added: "The general consensus was that his lungs were severely injured, and I believe his vaping habits had a lot to do with it."
Tryston's warning comes just weeks after Chance Ammirata shared shocking photos of his lungs after vaping for a year caused them to collapse.
And yesterday experts warned just one e-cigarette could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and is republished here with permission.