Missouri man becomes 8th death from vaping nationwide

He died this week at Mercy Hospital St. Louis.

September 19, 2019

ST. LOUIS (KNOU) - A man in his mid-40's who died at Mercy Hospital St. Louis is Missouri's first reported vaping-related death.

This is the eighth death that has occurred nationwide from vaping. 

He'd been hospitalized since Sept. 4 with pulmonary issues --  he had no lung problems when he started vaping in May of this year, reports Missouri health officials.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) concluded it was a vaping-related lung injury after lung samples were taken of a Mercy patient who had a history of vaping but normal lung function prior to starting vaping in May 2019. 

He developed mild respiratory symptoms that worsened, leading to hospitalization on Aug. 22 before being transferred to Mercy St. Louis on Sept. 4.

Dr. Michael Plisco, a critical care pulmonologist at Mercy, says in a statement the patient died from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome -- his lungs couldn't provide enough gas exchange which led to heart failure.

The statement from Mercy and the Department of Public Health says the man started vaping to deal with chronic pain but doesn't specify what he was using -- whether it was nicotine, THC from a legal dispensary somewhere or THC from a black market street vendor.

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