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12-Year-Old Irish Girl Put In Induced Coma After Infection, Vaping Made Lungs Too Weak

Irish Girl In Induced Coma After Vaping Made Lungs Too Weak To Fight Infection

In the past, electronic vaporisers, or vapes, have often been in the limelight due to their harmful effects.

For instance, back in July a 26-year-old Malaysian advocated against vaping after being in the intensive care unit (ICU) due to a collapsed lung.

A similar case has occurred again, this time in Northern Ireland.

Medical staff had no choice but to put a 12-year-old girl into an induced coma as her vaping habit had made her lungs too weak to fight an infection.

Irish girl in coma after vaping habit weakens lungs

Speaking to Belfast Live, Mary Griffin said her 12-year-old daughter, Sarah Griffin, had been getting ready for bed when she started feeling unwell. She then started coughing.

As Sarah suffered from asthma, her parents assumed that the change in weather had triggered her condition.

Source: Belfast Live

“Her cough was no different from any other time,” Mary said. “She used her inhaler and nebuliser throughout the Sunday night into Monday morning.”

That morning, she was taking her other two children to school when Sarah called her, telling her to return as she wasn’t feeling well.

Upon giving her an inhaler and nebuliser again, her condition seemed to settle.

However, a while later when Mary was out, her daughter contacted her one more time. Completely out of breath, she said she needed a doctor or a ride to the hospital.

Her father then took her to Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where it turned out that her oxygen levels had depleted to very low levels.

“I went to the hospital, and Sarah was just in a blind panic, she was terrified,” Mary said. “She was on oxygen and was linked up to all sorts of machines.”

Lung had suffered bad injury

Mary said that the doctor had showed her an X-ray, explaining that one of Sarah’s lungs had severe injuries.

Her other lung was thus working overtime, exacerbating her asthma. Additionally, Sarah had an infection and these conditions combined resulted in a massive impact on her body.

Source: Belfast Live

“When we got to [the] ICU the team worked on Sarah for four and a half hours before having to put her into an induced coma,” Mary said.

Mary said she felt helpless, describing it as a “nightmare come true.” She had to explain what was happening to Sarah’s older brother and two younger siblings, who asked if she was going to die.

“I was saying, ‘Of course not’, but in my mind I was terrified that was a real possibility,” Mary shared.

“I had to try and keep it together for them, but I was out of my mind with worry. I never thought something like this would happen to us, you never do.”

Eventually able to return home in stable condition

The journey of Sarah’s recovery while being in an induced coma was difficult. Mary explained to Belfast Live that she was dependent on machines and her condition was very unstable.

Her vitals were also constantly changing. “If they got her oxygen levels sorted, her blood pressure would go down,” Mary stated.

Source: Belfast Live

The first time they tried bringing her out of the coma, she grew so agitated they induced it again.

They then attempted the same the day after, starting by removing her tubes, reducing her sedation and taking her off the ventilator.

Fortunately, this attempt was successful and Sarah was able to return home after a few days.

Irish girl has difficult recovery ahead following vaping habit

Mary further shared that if Sarah hadn’t been vaping, she would have been able to fight off the infection better.

“Vaping had left her lungs very weak,” she said. Had she reached the hospital any later, Mary added that the outcome could have been “entirely different.”

Even while recovering at home, the consequences of her ailment will be long-term.

Source: Belfast Live

For the rest of her life, Sarah will be a high-risk patient if admitted to hospital due to the physical effects of the infection. She left the hospital with steroids, new inhalers and an action plan to assist with managing her asthma.

Previously, Sarah had been able to control her asthma well. She is now under the care of the Difficult to Control Asthma Clinic at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

She has also become very lethargic, Mary said, explaining, “She is usually full of energy… but she is still recovering and isn’t back to her usual self yet.”

“The mental impact has been as big as the physical impact,” she continued. “She has been through such a trauma.”

In addition, Mary shared that she has come forward with Sarah’s story to caution other youths against vaping and raise awareness.

“What Sarah has experienced could easily happen to other young people, and we don’t want that,” she said.

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Featured image adapted from Belfast Live.

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