The vape of this teenager exploded, breaking his jaw


What he told the doctors shocked them: the boy was fuming when, without warning, his electronic cigarette exploded in his face. The strange accident, described in a case study published on Wednesday, is just one of thousands in recent years.

"People need to know before buying these devices that there is a possibility that they will explode in your pocket, in your face," said Dr. Katie Russell, medical director of trauma at Children's Hospital Primary who treated the boy for the first time. turn.

It is not clear what type of electronic cigarette was involved in the incident.

A study published in 2018 estimated that more than 2,000 bursts of e-cigarette burns have sent users to US hospital emergency departments from 2015 to 2017. But few are aware of how serious the incidents may be.

The Nevada teenager said he had no idea his vape might explode, according to Russell. He repeated the line several times in the emergency room, she remembers, and he was still "very scared" hours after the blast.

"At that time, in my career, I had never seen it. I've never heard of it as a possibility," said Russell, who described the boy's injuries in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"I just wanted to spread this so that other people might know it was possible," she added.

The boy Russell treated was "a tough boy," she said, and he healed well. But others were less fortunate.

The boy healed well after six weeks and two surgeries, although he has not yet received implants for his missing teeth.

Two killed, others injured in e-cig blasts

In February, a Texas man died after his electronic cigarette exploded and shrapnel ripped through his carotid artery. Part of the device remained lodged in the man's throat at the hospital, according to his family.
About a year ago, a Florida man was also found dead after his electronic cigarette exploded during use, throwing a bullet into his head. Both cases involved "mechanical mods," larger vaporizers that have more powerful batteries than many typical devices.
A man dies after his cigarette explodes in his face.
Both deaths occurred in adults, but numerous teenagers reported burns caused by similar electronic cigarette explosions. The injuries have risen as experts warn of an "epidemic" of vaping teenagers, with nearly 40% of 12th graders using the devices, according to a report released last year.
A teenager in Oregon nearly lost his eye when his vape exploded two years ago, according to CNN affiliate KYTV. Another 17-year-old told CNN's affiliate KNXV in 2016 that "it was like [a] bomb exploding "before her clothes caught fire and an e-cigarette explosion left her with burns on her chest, arms and hands.
In a 2017 case, a 14-year-old girl was burned when an electronic cigarette exploded in the pocket of a college student while she was on a Harry Potter tour at Universal Studios. A year earlier, another 14-year-old boy became blind after an electronic cigarette exploded in a Brooklyn mall, according to CNN affiliate WPIX.

& # 39; Explosion Injuries & # 39; and skin grafts

Although experts and advocacy groups have raised questions about the effects of vaping on health, the risk of explosions and fires has received less attention. Some researchers, however, sounded alarms.
Senators & # 39; Blunt letter to Juul demands answers on tactics aimed at young people, ties with Big Tobacco
In a 2016 letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians at the University of Washington Medical Center described 15 patients who had undergone e-cigarette explosions in less than a year.

Most accidents involved flaming burns, and nearly 30% of patients suffered "blast injuries" leading to "tooth loss, traumatic tattoos and extensive loss of soft tissue." Flame burns required care with wounds and skin grafts, doctors wrote.

They added that "electronic cigarettes remain largely deregulated" and warned that "although these incidents were considered isolated events, the injuries among our 15 patients increase the evidence that electronic cigarettes are a public safety concern requiring greater regulation. " as well as design changes to improve safety ".

FDA is worried about " but does not require e-cig recalls

Industry groups remain cautious about regulation, arguing instead that manufacturers need the freedom to easily make changes – and improve – their products. "We need to make sure we will not get out of business," said Ray Story, founder of the Association of Electronic Tobacco Vapor Cigarettes.

Decision indicates pressure for FDA to strictly regulate electronic cigarettes

"The industry can always do more," said Story, but blamed consumers for some of the accidents. While the batteries may explode, he said, "A lot of this happens because of the consumer's failure to actually charge the batteries properly."

Last year RJ The Reynolds Vapor Company began a voluntary recall of 2.6 million units of fire risk, but the FDA – which has regulatory jurisdiction over e-cigarettes – did not require any electronic cigarette recall in response to recent explosions.

The agency said in a statement it was "concerned" about "overheating and battery explosion". It recommended that consumers consider "the use of devices with safety features, avoiding the contact of loose batteries with metal objects, using the correct charger and not charging [a] battery power at night or [leaving] loading without supervision. "

The FDA has also launched a website titled "Tips to Help Prevent Battery Explosions", but Russell, who treated the Nevada teenager, believes that many users do not even know that electronic cigarettes can explode – which means they are not looking for features for battery safety.

"A pack of cigarettes says it can kill you," Russell said. While e-cigarettes warn that nicotine is addictive, they seem to offer little information about battery risk, she said.

The safest option, according to Russell, may be to completely avoid vaping. "The mother actually used one of those devices as well," she said. "After that, everyone stopped."


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