HealthDay News — In an article published in the Nov. 19 early-release issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, interim guidance is provided for health care professionals managing patients with suspected electronic cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Another report in the same issue suggests that the characteristics of hospitalized and nonhospitalized EVALI patients are similar.

Tara C. Jatlaoui, MD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues summarized recommendations for health care providers managing patients with suspected or known EVALI. The recommendations include asking patients with respiratory, gastrointestinal, or constitutional symptoms about e-cigarette or vaping product use; using pulse oximetry and obtaining chest imaging to evaluate patients suspected of having EVALI; considering outpatient management for clinically stable EVALI patients; and testing patients for influenza. In addition, caution should be exercised when prescribing corticosteroids for outpatients as it could worsen respiratory infections; evidence-based strategies should be utilized to help patients discontinue e-cigarette or vaping product use; and the importance of influenza vaccination should be emphasized with patients, especially those who use e-cigarette or vaping products.

Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, also from the CDC, and colleagues analyzed data from 2016 EVALI patients: 95 and 5% of whom were hospitalized and not hospitalized, respectively. The researchers found that the demographic characteristics of hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients were similar, with most being male (68 and 65%, respectively) and most aged <35 years (78 vs 74%, respectively). Tetrahydrocannabinol-containing products were used by 83 and 84% of hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients, respectively.

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“CDC is no longer requesting national data on outpatient EVALI patients,” Chatham-Stephens and colleagues write.

Abstract/Full Text – Jatlaoui

Abstract/Full Text – Chatham-Stephens