Doctors Report Deadly ‘Crack-Lung’
Doctors say heavy smoking of crack is making addicts critically ill with symptoms similar to pneumonia, according to a published report.
The condition, which has been dubbed “crack-lung,” is not readily detected unless patients tell doctors of their crack addiction, the New York Times said Sunday. If not treated properly, it can lead to death.
The condition has been identified in four inner-city hospitals in Detroit, and the problem has been recognized in New York and Baltimore, the newspaper said.
Although showing outward signs of suffering from pneumonia, the patients do not respond to antibiotics or other anti-pneumonia treatments.
Dr. Dana G. Kissner, a Detroit pulmonary specialist, said crack-lung patients suffer severe chest pains and breathing problems, and often have high temperatures and cough up blood.
Kissner said the young people he saw with the condition were smoking between 15 and 25 pipes of crack a day.