JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Lung illnesses attributed to vaping is being seen all across the county.
It is also being seen at hospitals in Northeast Arkansas.
“We’ve had patients admitted to the hospital because of injuries related to these use of these devices,” Dr. Quint Reid with NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital said. “We’re seeing a lot with the marijuana-laced devices or the CBD or THC. This is not a regulated industry. A lot of what’s in these e-cigarettes is unknown.”
It is a mystery that has led health professionals, like Reid, to take notice.
“It’s growing,” Reid said. “The number of injuries, we are seeing more and more of them up to the point where it could cause very destructive or even harmful issues for some individuals."
The most common type of injury is what Reid calls “popcorn lung."
He said the inhalants from the vape product can damage the delicate layers of the lung.
"They cause almost rupturing of the small, small airways within your lung,” Reid said.
Once the damage is done, it might not get better.
“We don’t know enough honestly because it hasn’t been around with the use of these devices very long,” Reid said. “The conventional thinking is that it’s most likely irreversible damage.”
In extreme cases, it could be fatal or require a patient to be put on a ventilator. The scariest part about the health impact of vaping is the unknown.
Patients who vape can have a more difficult time breathing on their own after coming out of surgery even for a simple procedure.
“You know, they’ll sometimes have to keep you on the ventilator longer or keep you on the ventilator until you recover," Reid said.
The concern continues to evolve when it comes to vaping devices.
"We’ve even seen cases of some of these devices exploding and cause burns and things that are more severe on that nature,” Reid said.
Until health professionals can to learn more about the health impacts of vaping, Reid wants to be part of the solution.
“I think everybody can be a part of it as well and so just having this conversation with your friends, your family, trying to be open about your use of these things has really helped a lot of people to quit," Reid said.
Click here for resources to help kick the habit.