California man diagnosed with respiratory failure and placed in a medically-induced coma from vaping

By | September 9, 2019

‘It is NOT worth it’: Mother of 21-year-old California man in a medical coma after vaping warns against e-cigs

  • Ricky D’Ambrosio, 21, from Roseville, California, vomited five days in a row last month and was rushed to the hospital 
  • After his sister told doctors he vaped, D’Ambrosio was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure, which occurs when fluid fills up in the lungs’ air sacs
  • Doctors placed D’Ambrosio in a medically-induced coma and told his family his illness was caused by his vaping
  • It comes after federal and state scientists discovered a vitamin E-derived oil in cannabis vapors and believe it is linked to lung illnesses across the US 

A California man is currently in a medically-induced coma fighting for his life and his doctors say vaping is to blame.

Last month, 21-year-old Ricky D’Ambrosio, from Roseville, began violently vomiting multiple days in a row. 

Clinicians at the local hospital tested him for multiple illnesses, including the flu, but they all came back negative.

They were stumped by his condition until D’Ambrosio’s sister told his medical team that her brother was a vaper, reported CBS Sacramento.

D’Ambrosio was quickly diagnosed with acute respiratory failure and doctors placed him in a medically-induced coma, with his chances of recovering unclear.

It comes on the heels of news that federal and state health officials believe an oil derived from Vitamin E found in cannabis vapor may be responsible for the lung damage of more than 200 Americans who reported vaping before falling ill.

Ricky D'Ambrosio, 21, from Roseville, California, vomited five days in a row last month and was rushed to the hospital. Pictured: D'Ambrosio in the hospital

Ricky D’Ambrosio, 21, from Roseville, California, vomited five days in a row last month and was rushed to the hospital. Pictured: D’Ambrosio in the hospital 

Doctors tested him for several illnesses, including the flu, but they came back negative. Pictured: D'Ambrosio, left, with his mother

Doctors tested him for several illnesses, including the flu, but they came back negative. Pictured: D’Ambrosio, left, with his mother

Late last month, D’Ambrosio began vomiting. When he continued on that way for five days straight, his mother, Christy, took him to the hospital.  

‘It was really odd,’ Christy told CBS Sacramento. ‘We thought maybe [it was] food poisoning or the flu.

Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong until his sister, Caitlynne, told them that her brother vaped.

Soon after D’Ambrosio was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure.

Acute respiratory failure occurs when fluid builds up the alveoli – the tiny, elastic air sacs in your lungs – which prevents oxygen from reaching the blood.

This deprives the major organs of oxygen they need to function, which can lead to organ failure and death. 

Inhaling smoke and/or chemicals has been linked to acute respiratory failure because the chemicals can damage lung tissue. 

‘They…put him in a coma and let him just rest,’ Caitlynne told CBS Sacramento. 

D’Ambrosio was placed in a medically-induced coma and hooked up to ventilator. 

For the last 24 hours he has been receiving steroids, which seems to have helped his lungs. But doctors aren’t sure if he will make a full recovery. 

After his sister told doctors he vaped, D'Ambrosio was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure, which is when fluid fills up in the lungs' air sacs. Pictured: D'Ambrosio in the hospital

After his sister told doctors he vaped, D’Ambrosio was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure, which is when fluid fills up in the lungs’ air sacs. Pictured: D’Ambrosio in the hospital

Doctors told his family that they are not sure if D'Ambrosio will ever make a full recovery. Pictured: D'Ambrosio as a child,

His family says they want to warn others to stop vaping before it's too late. Pictured: D'Ambrosio as a teen,

Doctors told his family that they are not sure if D’Ambrosio will ever make a full recovery. His family says they want to warn others to stop vaping before it’s too late. Pictured: D’Ambrosio as a child, left, as a teen, right  

In the meantime, his family wants to educate others on the dangers of vaping. 

‘Whether he makes it through or he doesn’t, kids need to know this is a real, possible outcome. It can happen to anyone,’ Caitlynne told the station. 

On Tuesday, D’Ambrosio’s mother shared a photo on Facebook of her son in a coma. 

‘Let Ricky be an example so you or your loved ones DO NOT NEED TO GO THROUGH THIS,’ she wrote.  

‘As a momma sitting by her son’s hospital bed, wondering if we still get to go on our family trip together or if I’ll be planning his funeral…..I can tell you that IT IS NOT WORTH IT!!!!’

As of Thursday afternoon, the photo received more than 900 reactions and more than 3,300 shares. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have been investigating a slew of breathing illnesses related to vaping across the country.   

As of August 27, there have been 215 cases reported in mostly teens and young adults in 25 states.   

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that federal- and state- level scientists tested samples of cannabis e-cigarette liquids, all of which contained a vitamin E-derived oil. 

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