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Doctors treating deadly lung disease face a problem: Some patients lie about vaping

November 20, 2019


There are two people you should never lie to, Dr. Michael Plisco tells patients, your lawyer and your doctor.

The critical-care pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis thinks a patient’s lie may have cost his life when he turned up at the hospital after months of feeling ill. By the time Plisco saw man, who was in his 40s, his lungs were so stiff they couldn’t push any fluid out, putting him at risk of cardiac arrest.

Doctors tried extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a machine that pumps blood through a person’s body while bypassing the lungs and heart. It did not work. The man’s organs failed and he ultimately died in September.

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