OHIO – Monday Republican Tom Patton from Cleveland introduced Legislation to create a committee on the effect of vaping product health.
Ohio Health has reported seventeen cases of severe breathing illness likely caused by vaping and are investigating almost two dozen more.
Multiple states across the country have reported clusters of patients experiencing severe respiratory disease after using e-cigarette or vapor products. As of September CDC says more that 500 cases have been reported across United States, with eight deaths being reported.
Patients have reported vaping in the weeks to months prior to illness. Many have acknowledged recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products; however, no specific product has been identified by all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to this clinical syndrome. An investigation has been initiated with interviews of patients to further study the issue.
Patients present with respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. Symptoms worsen over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, anorexia, pleuritic chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Chest radiographs show bilateral opacities, typically in the lower lobes and CT imaging of the chest shows diffuse ground glass opacities, often with subpleural sparing. Evaluation for infectious etiologies were negative in all patients. Some patients had progressive respiratory compromise requiring endotracheal intubation but subsequently improved with systemic steroids.
At this time, it is unknown what is causing or contributing to the symptoms. Infectious etiologies should be ruled out. Aggressive supportive care is warranted, and in severe cases, it is recommended that pulmonary and critical care specialists are consulted. If an e-cigarette or vaping product is suspected as a possible etiology of a patient’s illness, it is important to inquire about the type of product and where the product was obtained and if samples of the product are available for possible analysis.
Here is what the CDC Center for Disease Control is saying:
CDC is providing consultation to state health departments about a cluster of pulmonary illnesses possibly related to e-cigarette product use, or “vaping,” primarily among adolescents and young adults. Many states have alerted CDC to possible (not confirmed) cases and investigations into these cases are ongoing. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with CDC and state health officials to gather information on any products or substances used and providing technical and laboratory assistance. FDA encourages the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon. While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses.