DENVER (CBS4) – Two new cases of vaping-related illnesses have been reported in Colorado in the past week — bringing the total to six. Four of the cases were severe enough to require hospitalization, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Two of the patients said they vaped marijuana, three of the patients reported vaping nicotine, and one patient reported vaping both. The report did not indicate the age of the patients.
Children and teens vaping is considered an epidemic in Colorado. The state has the highest rates of youth usage in the nation.
Doctors aren’t quite sure yet what exactly is making people sick but heating the oil based “vape juice” has led to respiratory problems in patients, some of whom are teens.
“These life threatening illnesses as you have heard can look like infection. Kids can start coughing. They can feel bad. They can have chest pain. Some individuals have coughed up blood, though that’s not that common,” said Deterding.
Health experts are warning parents and young people that if they vape they are putting their health at risk.
“It’s a lifetime of impact if you begin inhaling these substances early,” said Dr. Robin Deterding with Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Some (people) go to the emergency room and the most important thing we are telling people is we have to have the vaping history.”
Now that doctors have discovered that vaping is causing respiratory illnesses, they are going to go back through their past cases and see if any patients they have treated may have been sickened by vaping.
Deterding thinks they will likely find more cases, “Though the clusters are new, I think we are going to learn that different variations and degrees of these conditions have been present before.”
Patients doctors have seen vape both nicotine and cannabis products. If you or your child vape and you have respiratory illness you should immediately see a doctor.