Eleven Hospitalized in Connecticut Due to Vaping-Related Health Concerns
On September 13, 2019, CNBC reported that Connecticut state public health officials stated that 11 people had been hospitalized after suffering severe respiratory diseases linked to “vaping” or smoking electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). The Connecticut Department of Public Health commissioner said that residents should consider not using e-cigarette products while state and federal agencies continue to examine the causes of severe respiratory symptoms.
According to CNBC, the first five patients in Connecticut became ill in July and August, and the first case reported to the state was on August 14. The 11 patients included individuals 15 years of age to 50 years of age, and state officials said the patients reported using e-cigarettes or vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, or a combination of both.
Most of the patients have been discharged from hospitals, but the state told CNBC that many of them required intensive care. Symptoms in these cases included inflamed lungs, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, chest pain, vomiting, and nausea. The Hartford Courant reported that seven of the Connecticut patients live in Fairfield County, three reside in New Haven, and one was from the New London area.
CNBC reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it has 380 likely or confirmed cases related to vaping the involve 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The median age of the first 53 patients in Illinois and Wisconsin was 19 years of age, and CNBC reported that most reported having used both THC and nicotine-based vaping products.
The Hartford Courant reported that the CDC said in a briefing that investigators were aware of more than 450 cases nationwide, including six deaths associated with vaping. The deaths occurred in Kansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon.
CNBC also called attention to a September 6 United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consumer alert that explicitly discouraged the use of THC-containing vaping products. The FDA release called attention to the presence of Vitamin E acetate found in many of the samples containing THC, and CNBC noted that when vitamin E is heated and inhaled, it can coat the lungs and lead to an illness resembling lipoid pneumonia, a rare condition stemming from fat particles entering the lungs.
The FDA encouraged people to avoid buying vaping products of any kind on the street and refrain from using THC oil or modifying or adding any substances to products purchased in stores. People who use vaping products with THC should monitor themselves for symptoms, seek medical attention when there are health concerns, and call the local poison control center.
Did an e-cigarette or another vaping product cause you to suffer harm or develop an illness? If so, the injury attorneys of Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers want to talk to you right away. We fight to protect the rights of those hurt in Connecticut, and we will aggressively seek compensation on your behalf if one of these products caused you harm. Call us at (203) 397-1283 or fill out a contact form today to schedule a free consultation.