E-cigarettes are fairly new and researchers are still trying to understand their impact on health. In the little research that’s been conducted, e-cigarettes have been linked with negative health effects, including an increased risk for heart attacks. And now, a brand new case study reveals another serious health problem with e-cigarettes: wet lung, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis. 

A study published this month in the journal, Pediatrics, revealed how an 18-year old woman from Pennsylvania suffered serious health problems after smoking e-cigarettes for just three weeks.

Her symptoms included coughing, difficult breathing, and stabbing chest pains when breathing. Her symptoms prompted her to seek medical attention at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s emergency room.

While at the emergency room, her symptoms became increasingly worse and doctors admitted her into an intensive care unit, where she was given antibiotics. Nonetheless, her symptoms became dangerous, and she started to suffer from respiratory failure.

According to a Dr. Daniel Weiner, who was present at the time, and who also co-authored the study, “She was unable to get enough oxygen into her blood from her lungs and required a mechanical ventilator (respirator) to breathe for her until her lungs recovered.”

The medical team diagnosed her with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is a condition where the lungs become inflamed as an allergic response to chemicals and/or dust. It is believed that the chemicals present in the e-cigarettes caused her lungs to become inflamed and damaged, leading to her symptoms and ultimately, wet lung.