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Case report
E-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) treated with veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) and ultra-protective ventilator settings


A 19-year-old man vaping with tetrahydrocannabinol presented with dyspnoea and right pneumothorax. History, imaging and negative infectious workup were consistent with E-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Treated with systemic steroids, he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and was intubated requiring veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) by hospital day 3. Using VV-ECMO, very-low tidal volume ventilation of 1.5 cc/kg was achieved, as was daily ambulation. VV-ECMO was decannulated on hospital day 9 and the patient was extubated the next day. He was discharged home on hospital day 13 without oxygen. At post-intensive care unit clinic follow-up, he had lost 20 kg of weight while hospitalised and reported nightmares. Patients with EVALI may be supported with VV-ECMO, which allows ultra-lung-protective mechanical ventilation that may minimise ventilator-induced lung injury. Follow-up in patients with EVALI is essential to diagnose and treat comorbidities, follow lung function and prevent relapses.

  • smoking and tobacco
  • mechanical ventilation
  • global health
  • respiratory medicine
  • cardiothoracic surgery

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