Odd, blogger doesn't seem to like any browsers but Chrome anymore. Typical.
Alternative title for this could be "Why you shouldn't smoke while you're sick (or ever, really)."
This is the first and only time I've ever seen someone directly killed by a cigarette. When I say directly, I'm not talking about lung cancer or emphysema, I'm talking, you lit a cigarette and it killed you immediately (essentially).
Black woman in her mid-30's, diagnosed the day before with pneumonia by her primary care physician and placed on inhalers, antibiotics and steroids. She had taken one full day of each when she decided she wanted to go outside for a cigarette. From her family's report, she took two drags off the cigarette, became wide-eyed and fell off the porch onto the lawn. When they got down to her she had stopped breathing completely and was unresponsive. They called EMS who performed CPR and got her into a perfusing rhythm. However, there was no higher brain function. The edema from her brain raised her intracranial pressure so much that IV contrast wouldn't go any higher in her arteries than her mid-neck. What we think happened is that the cigarette, combined with the acute lung illness, caused an immediate bronchospasm so severe that it completely stopped her breathing (like having an asthma attack in every part of your lung at once). The lack of oxygen finished off her brain within minutes but the CPR kept her brainstem alive long enough to get to the hospital, where she lay comatose in our CCU. Other than notifying the organ donation people, there was nothing to be done.
When I spoke with his family (most smokers), one of them spoke up and said, "You'd think with all that exercise her lungs got from smoking, this wouldn't have happened." He then went on to explain that the hospital or her PCP had done something wrong and they would be talking to their lawyer. They blocked the organ harvesting (such a waste) so this woman died for absolutely nothing. Great day...