News from the FDA/CDC

CDC updates guidance on vaping-associated lung injury



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released an updated interim clinical guidance for health providers for evaluating and treating patients with lung injury associated with e-cigarette use or vaping.

In a telebriefing, Anne Schuchat, MD, CDC principal deputy director, and her colleagues answered questions about the current investigation into the source of this lung injury outbreak and the updated clinical guidance. Dr. Schuchat said, “I can’t stress enough the seriousness of these injuries.” She added, “We are not seeing a drop in cases” but a continuation of the trend of hospitalization and deaths that started in August 2019.

Investigation update

The investigation to date has yielded some information about current cases of lung injury related to vaping:

• The acronym EVALI has been developed to refer to e-cigarette, or vaping products use associated lung injury;

• 1,299 EVALI cases have been reported as of Oct. 8;

• No single compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these injuries, and more than one substance may be involved;

• Among the 573 patients for whom data are available on vaping products used in the previous 90 days, 76% reported using THC-containing products; 58% reported using nicotine-containing products; 32% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products, and 13% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products;

• Of the 700+ samples sent to the CDC for analysis, most had little or no liquid remaining in the device, limiting content analysis. In 28 THC-containing samples, THC concentrations were found to be 13% - 77% (mean 41%).

• A “handful” of cases of readmission have been reported and the CDC is currently investigating whether these cases included patients who took up vaping again or had some other possible contributing factor.

• The CDC is currently developing an ICD-10 code relevant to EVALI.

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