Mysterious vaping illness – Intermountain Healthcare Pulmonology
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Mysterious vaping illness – Intermountain Healthcare Pulmonology


TOURS OF THE NEW FACILITIES ARE HAPPENING NOW UNTIL 7:00 TONIGHT. Surae: THE MYSTERIOUS VAPING ILLNESS HAS SICKENED 200 PEOPLE AND CLAIMED TWO LIVES. WE HAVE DR. HARRIS, A PULMONOLOGIST AT INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTHCARE TO EXPLAIN THIS SERIOUS AND SCARY SITUATION. IT’S SICKENED PEOPLE IN UTAH AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WE’RE LATER THANKING OF THE SECOND DEATH IN OREGON THAT JUST HAPPENED. Guest: YES, THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE. WHAT WE’RE SEEING IS AWNING GOING CASES. ALMOST ALL THE CASES HAVE BEEN VAPING SOME SORT OF THC OIL. OTHER CASES ARE DOING E-CIGARETTES. MANY OF THE CASES ARE DOING COMBINED. WE STILL DON’T HAVE ONE SPECIFIC ITEM THAT WE KNOW IS THE ACTUAL CAUSE AT THIS POINT. Surae: IN THE PIPELINE, OF COURSE, YOU HEAR SO MUCH INFORMATION, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE JUST GRASPING TO FIND OUT WHAT IT COULD BE. I’M ALREADY HEARING VITAMIN E COULD BE IT. WE TALKED YESTERDAY ABOUT THC COULD BE IN THE MIX AS WELL. Guest: SO THE “WASHINGTON POST” I BELIEVE IT WAS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, REPORTED THAT VITAMIN E IS SOMETHING SUSPECT. AND THAT WOULD ACTUALLY BE PART OF WHAT THE MIXING IS IN THE THC. WE’RE NOT SURE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN. REMEMBER, THAT THC IS NOT LEGAL HERE IN UTAH. SO IT’S BEING OBTAINED IN OTHER STATES. AND THAT’S WHAT ALL OUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS-INVESTIGATORS, BETWEEN TOXICOLOGISTS, EPIDEMIOLOGISTS, IS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS COMING INTO THE STATE AND WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH WHAT’S COMING INTO THE STATE. Surae: AND COULD THERE BE MULTIPLE CAUSES, IS WHAT I’M HEARING. WE WERE LOOKING AT THE X-RAYS. COULD YOU DESCRIBE WHAT IS HAPPENING? IF WE DON’T KNOW WHAT CHEMICAL, WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE LUNGS, IF WE CAN SEE IT CLEARLY? Guest: YEAH. SO WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE CHEST X-RAY, YOU CAN SEE PATCHY CLOUDS ALL THE WAY IN BOTH LUNGS. AND WHAT WE KNOW WHEN YOU VAPE, VAPE, WHATEVER YOU’RE VAPING, GOES DEEP IN THE LUNGS. VERY DEEP. DOWN PAST THE BRONCI. AND DOWN IN THE AIR SACKS. Surae: EVERYTHING WE’RE INHALING IS GOING EVERYWHERE AND FUNNELING INTO OUR LUNGS. Guest: IT’S GOING DEEP IN THE LUNGS, AS DEEP AS IT CAN GO IN THE AIR SACKS. IT’S STIMULATING INFLAMMATION. THAT’S WHEN WE DO OUR TESTING OF THE LUNGS, WE SEE ALL KINDS OF INFLAMMATORY CELLS ACTIVATED. Surae: IS THIS DAMAGE PERMANENT? Guest: THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. IN THE LAST 24-48 HOURS, I’VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE OUR PATIENTS IN FOLLOW-UP. AND AS OF NOW, SEVERAL PATIENTS WE’VE SEEN AS FAR AS ALL THE ICU PULMONARY DOCTORS AND AT THIS POINT, NO PATIENT HAS COMPLETELY NORMAL LUNGS. Surae: WOW! Guest: MOST OF THEM ARE DOING WELL. THEY’RE BACK TO THEIR USUAL ACTIVITIES. YOU HAVE TO CONSIDER A 20 YEAR-OLD SHOULD HAVE NORMAL LUNGS. WE SEE EVIDENCE OF DAMAGE. Surae: WE KNOW WHEN THERE’S POLLUTION, SAY, IT’S CUMULATIVE. SO WE DO HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHAT WE’RE DOING TODAY, WILL AFFECT US DOWN THE ROAD. WE DON’T KNOW. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE NUMBERS. THEY KEEP COMING IN. THEY’RE DYNAMIC. YOU’RE WORKING WITH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AS WELL. Guest: YES. SO THE FIRST NUMBERS THAT WE REPORTED TO THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST WAS FOUR. AND FOUR DIFFERENT HOSPITALS, FOUR CASES. AS OF NOW, FOR INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTHCARE, WE HAVE REPORTED 22 CASES. I’VE REPORTED ANOTHER CASE JUST TODAY. Surae: AND THEN, THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT REPORTING 28 CASES AND 14 SUSPECTED. SO THOSE NUMBERS ARE CLIMBING. Guest: THEY’RE GOING UP EVERY WEEK. Surae: WE NEED TO LET THE PUBLIC KNOW. SOME PEOPLE ARE CALLING IT AN EPIDEMIC AND HEALTH CRISIS. WE’LL SEE AS THIS CONTINUES. THANK YOU, DR. DIXIE HARRIS WITH INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTHCARE. MORE TO TALK ABOUT AS THIS GOES ON. Guest: THANK YOU.

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