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Smoker nearly dies after accidentally inhaling plastic nozzle from his e-cigarette into his lungs

Wednesday 10/October/2018 - 10:55 AM
Alan OBrien
Alan OBrien
Edited by: Yara Sameh

A SMOKER nearly died after he accidentally sucked part of his e-cigarette into his lungs and needed emergency surgery to remove it، the sun reported.

Alan O'Brien، 40، inhaled the mouthpiece of the vape down his windpipe and was left gasping for air.

Scans revealed the vape topper was stuck in his lung.

Mr O'Brien's case will be added to medical journals because it's so rareThe shop assistant manager was rushed into intensive care and surgeons removed the plastic.

Medics now plan to feature Mr O’Brien، of Warrington، Cheshire in medical journals because his ordeal was so unusual.

He said: "People say smoking will kill you، but maybe I'm better sticking to the cigarettes. It seems it might be safer.

"The drag I took must have been powerful. I guess I just went a bit OTT with it.

Part of the e-cigarette became lodged in Alan O'Brien's throat"I can joke about it now but it was pretty scary. Initially، when I couldn't breathe it was utter panic.

"But then I was whistling as I was talking. I thought 'I can't go on like this for long، it's ridiculous'.

"The hospital asked permission to use the photos in medical journals as they had never seen it before.

"I guess I'm a lesson in how not to vape."

Mr O'Brien، an assistant shop manager، was rushed to hospital as he struggled to breatheAlan was opening up the betting shop where he works last Monday and was enjoying his first 'smoke' of the day using his menthol SMOK baby e-cig.

He said: "I had two minutes before I had to start work so I think I was just trying to squeeze in a smoke.

"I went at it with a bit too much gusto and the mouth piece came off and went straight down my throat.

"I was choking. I couldn't breathe. Panic set in.

Alan O'Brien inhaled the plastic mouth piece of the e-cigarette from Beijing company SMOK"I didn't have another staff member coming in until half 12. It seemed like an age but I couldn't breathe at all for about ten to 15 seconds.

"I finally grabbed a breath and I tried to sick it out، but I could feel it stuck."

Not realising the seriousness of the situation، he continued working until paramedics arrived.

They took him to Warrington Hospital A&E but medics struggled to find the nozzle using x-ray because it was black.

Before starting work، Mr O'Brien used the SMOK e-cigarette but the top part became loose and became stuck in his throatHe said: "They asked me if I could have coughed it up، but I knew I hadn't.”

A CT scan revealed the nozzle was inside his windpipe - trachea - and not his food pipe - oesophagus - and was dangerously perched just in the opening of his lungs.

Alan said: "I was breathing through it and if it had gone sideways I would have been dead.

"If it had slipped in، it could have collapsed the lung، which could have very quickly been fatal." He was ‘blue-lighted’ to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital، straight into intensive care - but had to wait overnight for the operation because he'd eaten an egg butty.

The small part was removed from Alan O'Brien's throat using a camera and a pair of tweezersHe underwent a bronchoscopy under general anaesthetic and surgeons removed the e-cig part using a camera and tweezers، last Wednesday.

Alan، now fully recovered، said: "I think I'll play it safe for now and stick to the cigarettes."

Beijing based e-cigarette company SMOK (also known as Smoktech) is the flagship brand of Shenzhen IVPS Technology Corporation Ltd (IVPS).

The e-cigarettes، which can fetch up to £90-a-device، boast 80million customers worldwide since it was set up in 2010.

under police watch
The Chinese vaping company is regarded as a pioneer of the industry having introduced dual-coil devices - which creates more vapor for smokers than a single-coil product - in 2011.

In 2014 it was of the first e-cig companies to implement Bluetooth technology into vaping devices - known as the BEC Pro.

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

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