Dr. Hassan Nemeh, the Henry Ford Hospital surgeon who led the first double lung transplant on a teenager whose lungs were damaged by vaping, said that the damage to the teen patients lungs was unlike anything he had ever seen.
“What I saw in his lungs is like nothing I’ve seen before, and I’ve been doing lung transplants for 20 years,” Nemeh, the Surgical Director of Thoracic Organ Transplant at Henry Ford Hospital, said at a press conference Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
“This is an evil I haven’t faced before,” he added.
Dr. Nemeh said that the CT scans of the teens lungs before the surgery showed no sign of the lungs because they were devoid of air. He said the teens faced “imminent death” had he not receive the double lung transplant.
“This is a preventable tragedy,” Nemeh said, per a news release from the hospital. “And we have so much respect for this family for allowing us to share their pain to prevent the same from happening to others. The damage that these vapes do to people’s lungs is irreversible. Please think of that – and tell your children to think of that.”
The family said that their son went from a perfectly healthy 16 year old to waking up intubated with two new lungs. Their s
on was originally hospitalized on September 15 with what appeared to be pneumonia. His condition rapidly deteriorated and doctors had to intubate him a week later on September 12th. He was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and placed on a ECMO [Extracoporeal membrane oxygenation] device which provided support to his lungs. He condition continued to worsen and the double lung transplant was his only option.
“The lung damage due to vaping was so severe – and he was so close to death – that he immediately shot to the top of the transplant waiting list, which ultimately led to the successful transplant on Oct. 15, 2019,” Henry Ford Hospital said in its release.
Henry Ford Hospital, in their press release regarding the surgery, said that vaping has become an epidemic among youth in the United States. They referenced a recent survey of over 10,000 high school and middle school students showing that 28% of high school students and 11% of middle school students self-reported ongoing use of e-cigarettes. “We are just beginning to see the enormous health consequences jeopardizing the youth in our country.”JUUL hid the dangers of these e-cigarettes from the public and is now facing a series of lawsuits filed across the country.
The newly formed Multidistrict Litigation involving JUUL will be procedurally similar to the MDLs formed in the Municipal Opioid Litigation and the Roundup Cancer litigation that Smith & Johnson is currently involved in. Smith & Johnson is currently interviewing potential Michigan claimants for inclusion in this Federal MDL re: JUUL e-cigarettes. If you have questions about this litigation and what rights you may have, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at (231) 946-0700 for a free consultation.