Wisconsin teenager in ICU with severe lung damage after vaping

Posted: Updated:

A Wisconsin teen is in an intensive care unit with severe lung damage and his family thinks it was caused by vaping.

Patrick Degrave's brother went to Aurora Memorial Hospital in Burlington after he was having issues breathing.

At first doctors thought it might be pneumonia, but soon realized it was something else.

"These vapes can cost you your life,” Degrave said. "Within 24 hours he was being medically sedated and being put in a medically induced coma."

Degrave says his brother bought the vape vials off the street.

His warning comes on the same day as doctors at Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa issued a similar alert.

"Vaping in teenagers is something that's harming our kids and we want that to be loud and clear,” said Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer Mike Gutzeit.

They treated eight patients in just four weeks with severe lung damage. All had the common thread of vaping.

"We don't have lot of information about the long-term effects and sometimes even the short-term effects,” Gutzeit said.

Degrave isn't sure what's next for his brother, but he doesn't want someone else to make the same mistakes.

"It's wait and see. We're uncertain right now if he'll ever fully recover from this,” Degrave said.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says that it is investigating the cases.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.