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24yo M’sian Smoker Dies After Doctor Finds Nearly 1 Litre of Pus in Lung



24yo Malaysian Smoker Dies After Doctor Finds Nearly 1 Litre of Pus in Lung - World Of Buzz
Source: Facebook
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Every Malaysian knows at least one smoker, and it’s alarming how young so many of them are! According to Malaysia’s National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015, it was found that 22.8 per cent of the population are smokers (that’s an estimated 5 million smokers in the country!). A majority of these smokers are reportedly aged between 25 and 44. That’s a lot of young people!

Smoking is undoubtedly an unhealthy habit that carries a wide variety of health risks, most of which can prove fatal.

Sadly, one young Malaysian known simply as Ali, tragically passed away because of smoking. A doctor named Syamirulah, who treated Ali, shared his story on Facebook in hopes that it would raise awareness on how dangerous smoking can be.

Dr Syamirulah’s post reads,

“Ali was a hardworking young man. He lived with his mother and little sister. Sadly, his father passed away when he was only in standard 6.”

“One afternoon, Ali was lifting supplies from a lorry to the shop he was working at. He was with two of his colleagues and they were all working under the hot sun. When they were done with their work, the three of them took a break by sitting under a nearby tree. They also decided to smoke cigarettes during their break.”

“Later that evening, Ali felt his body getting warmer, like he was developing a fever. He dismissed it and thought it was probably because he was working all day under the hot sun.”

The next day, Ali had a high fever and started to cough, but Ali went to work as usual despite feeling under the weather. His fever however, persisted for another two weeks; he lost his appetite, and appeared very weak. He even started losing sleep because of how much he was coughing.

When he couldn’t muster enough energy to work for two days, Ali’s mother then decided he needed to see a doctor and took him to the hospital.

24yo Malaysian Smoker Dies After Doctor Finds Nearly 1 Litre of Pus in Lungs - World Of Buzz 5

Source: The Star

When they reached the emergency room, he was brought to the asthma department, because the doctor on duty initially thought he was having an asthma attack.

Ali’s mother however insisted that he’s never had asthma before. That’s when Dr Syamirulah came in and checked Ali’s vital signs. He found that his blood pressure was low but had a very high pulse. However, he didn’t really have a high fever since his temperature was just 37.5 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, he was sweating so profusely that it soaked the sheets of the bed he was lying on.

“The amount of oxygen in his body was also very low at just 75 per cent. Ali was immediately given oxygen via face mask. His body was also supported so he could be upright and was given fluids intravenously. We then called the radiologist to conduct an X-ray on him.”

“The X-ray looked similar to the photo below. This isn’t Ali’s X-ray, but a similar picture I found on Google.”

24yo Malaysian Smoker Dies After Doctor Finds Nearly 1 Litre of Pus in Lungs - World Of Buzz 1

Source: Facebook

Ali’s X-ray showed that his left lung was filled with fluid. Upon discovering this, Dr Syamirulah  decided to drain the fluid from his lung as quickly as possible, since it was building up a lot of pressure. Ali was essentially drowning.

“When I inserted the needle in his chest, a thick yellow-white liquid began to come out. That’s when I realised it was pus.”

He managed to drain 200 millilitres of pus, yet there was no sign of it stopping. So, the doctor decided to use a chest tube in an effort to remove as much pus as possible.

When he finished the procedure, Dr Syamirulah managed to drain nearly one litre of pus from Ali’s lung.

24yo Malaysian Smoker Dies After Doctor Finds Nearly 1 Litre of Pus in Lungs - World Of Buzz

Source: Facebook

“Ali became stable and his oxygen levels increased to 98 per cent. He didn’t have any more breathing problems.”

The 24-year-old was then admitted in the ward for observation, with the chest tube remaining inside his lungs for three days, to make sure no more pus remained. He was also given strong antibiotics intravenously for four weeks. That meant Ali had to stay in the hospital for four weeks too. His post read,

“Ali also had to go through intensive physiotherapy to make sure his lungs got back into shape.”

What Ali had was Lung Empyema or Empyema Thoracis, caused by germs in the lungs. Healthy people’s immune systems are usually able to get rid of these germs with ease. However, for some people who may have weaker immune systems, these germs could spread and form a colony in the lungs, like empyema.”

“Ali never had tuberculosis, he never had a chronic illness like diabetes, high blood pressure, or HIV. He was just a 24-year-old with a relatively healthy body.”

“He did however, smoke a packet of cigarettes every three days since he was 17 years old.”

Dr Syamirulah said smoking can badly affect the immune system, especially in the lungs, which is why smokers are at a higher risk of developing empyema compared to non-smokers.

“Ask any doctor, they definitely would have encountered patients like Ali at least once every two months. In bigger private hospitals, there is always at least one patient admitted for empyema because they have to remain in the ward for so long.”

“A majority of empyema cases recur because most of the patients still smoke after treatment. This can result in chronic lung disease, and can even lead to some people depending on respirators at just 50 years old.”

“Empyema cases are also very hard to treat; 15 to 50% of sufferers die due to a multitude of factors. As for Ali, his fever persisted after three days in the ward. He then began to cough terribly despite being so weak.”

24yo Malaysian Smoker Dies After Doctor Finds Nearly 1 Litre of Pus in Lungs - World Of Buzz 6

Source: NST

On the third day, he coughed so much that blood came out of his mouth. He suffered a complication called bronchopleural fistula that spread all the way to the bronchus (windpipe).

In a matter of minutes, Ali fainted and became very pale. Dr Syamirulah tried his best to save him by inserting a breathing tube and performing CPR.

Sadly, despite all his efforts to save the young man, Ali passed away from a pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding in the pulmonary artery) due to how much he was coughing.

He ended his post saying,

“Why are we still selling cigarettes and make them so accessible to the public?”

What a tragic thing to befall someone. We urge all smokers to kick the unhealthy habit before it’s too late!


Also read: M’sian Started Smoking at 17, Now One of the Youngest Oral Cancer Patients

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