GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Hospitals in the Triad have seen a spike in the number of patients admitted for pulmonary disease caused by vaping.
A man who wanted to share his story, but not be identified, has been in a hospital for the last week. He told FOX8 he was perfectly healthy until he started vaping six months ago.
“Just literally felt like I was suffocating. I could not breathe,” he said.
At 34-years-old, the man never thought he would be confined to a hospital bed.
“It just went really fast downhill,” he said. “That feeling of suffocation was really terrifying. I did not know what was going to happen.”
He said we went through a cartridge every few days while vaping.
Now, he has fluid in his lungs. He can’t breathe without oxygen. He hasn’t walked in almost a week.
“This is a really painful process to go through, very painful and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody,” he said.
Doctors say vaping is the cause.
“The speculation is that there are many different compounds in the vape and they could be chemicals. They could be toxic metals. They could be flavoring agents. I saw a report of vitamin E in one of them. It could be any number of these that then damage the lung,” said Dr. Murali Ramaswamy, a pulmonologist at Cone Health.
“I was kind of upset with myself because I feel like I had done it to myself and my first thought is, 'I’m never ever doing that again,'” the man said.
This patient is one of three people currently being treated in the ICU at Wesley Long because of vaping.