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12-year-old girl who was put in induced coma after vaping warns people to avoid them completely

Joe Harker

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12-year-old girl who was put in induced coma after vaping warns people to avoid them completely

Featured Image Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke

A 12-year-old girl has spoken out about being placed into an induced coma after she was rushed to hospital over complications related to vaping.

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Sarah Griffin was recently taken to hospital in Belfast after she started to suffer from breathing problems and her oxygen levels were found to be 'very low'.

Medical staff at the hospital found that one of the 12-year-old lungs was 'badly injured' and that meant the other one was 'working overtime', and to make matters worse, she had an infection compounding the problem.

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After four-and-a-half hours at the Royal Victoria Hospital, doctors decided to put Sarah into an induced coma which was a 'nightmare come true' for her mum Mary.

Sarah Griffin was rushed to hospital after struggling to breathe. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Sarah Griffin was rushed to hospital after struggling to breathe. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke

Sarah remained ‘very unstable’ for some time, and had to be placed in an induced coma again after she became ‘agitated’ when doctors tried to bring her out of it initially.

Eventually, doctors were able to take Sarah out of the coma, and while her family were worried she might be in hospital for ‘weeks or even months’, she returned home after a few days.

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Doctors told Mary that her daughter would have been in a better position to fight off the infection if she hadn't been vaping.

While a healthier alternative to smoking, that doesn't make vaping healthy and there are people who have suffered serious medical distress because of vaping.

And since being brought out of her coma, Sarah has spoken out on vaping and its dangers as part of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke’s (NICHS) vaping awareness campaign.

Sarah Griffin and her mum Mary. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Sarah Griffin and her mum Mary. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
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She said: "Don't start doing it, because once you start doing it, you don't stop doing it," she said.

"You only stop when you basically have to, when it's a life or death situation."

As part of the campaign, Fidelma Carter, Head of Public Health at NICHS, also spoke about the dangers of a habit like vaping and some of the misconceptions that people have about the habit.

Sarah was placed in an induced coma after being rushed to hospital. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Sarah was placed in an induced coma after being rushed to hospital. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
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"Many people may think there is little risk associated with regular vaping," Carter said.

"The biggest misunderstanding about vapes is that they are harmless compared to cigarettes."

"This is not true, and this message needs to change to prevent more young people from taking up and getting addicted to vaping because they think they are risk free.

Sarah is now telling others to stay away from vaping if they can. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Sarah is now telling others to stay away from vaping if they can. Credit: Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
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"The long-term health implications are unknown - just as they once were with tobacco."

"We have launched our vaping awareness campaign in response to the misunderstandings around the potential health risks associated with vaping and the huge increase in the number of teenagers using vapes."

Vaping is plenty addictive by itself and there are many that have become hooked on the habit who, like Sarah, warn others to stay away if they can.

Topics: Health, News, Parenting, Vaping

Joe Harker
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