As the national number of vaping-related respiratory illness cases increase, Banner Health toxicology experts recommend not using vaping devices, or at least minimizing their use. Although discreet and odorless, health experts have been closely monitoring how the use of electronic cigarettes could be linked with severe health concerns, specifically severe acute pulmonary disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette product use. The CDC reports the investigation is ongoing and has not identified a cause, but all reported cases have a history of using e-cigarette products.
As of Sept. 6, more than 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported to the CDC from 33 states and one U.S. territory. Five deaths have been confirmed.
“The CDC would like health care providers to ask patients about any e-cigarette products, including devices and liquids, to aid in the investigation of vaping effects,” said Maureen Roland, RN, managing director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center.
Arizona’s two poison centers are strongly encouraging the public to report cases of vaping-related lung injury by calling 1-800-222-1222. The poison centers can provide patient care assistance and will report suspected cases to state and national public health officials, further strengthening the public health response.
Reported signs and symptoms of suspected vaping associated lung injury include:
• Fever, nausea and vomiting
• Shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain
• Progression of symptoms over several days with similarities to a viral illness
• Vaping, often with THC products, in the days to weeks before symptoms appear
The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center is a phone call away, and can be reached at 1-800-222-1222. The center provides a free, 24-hour emergency telephone service for both residents and medical professionals of Maricopa County. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/poisoncenter.