A vape pen (known as e-cigarette) had unexpectedly blown up in the face of 17-year-old Nevada boy, causing carnage to his jaw needing multiple surgeries to repair the damage, as per the report in the latest New England Journal of Medicine.
The 2018 incident cites a lesser-known danger of e-cigarettes, the devices can unexpectedly blow up, causing severe burns and massive facial damage.
“He was [using] this vape pen, and it blew up in his face while he was [using] it,” said one of the surgeons, who treated him, Dr. Katie Russell who works as a pediatric surgeon at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
The e-cigarette blast was so strong that it broke bones and blow out teeth.
“He broke his lower jaw, which takes a large amount of force,” Russell added.
Doctors had to insert a 2-inch plate on his lower jaw so as to stabilize the fracture.
“His jaw was wired shut for about six weeks,” she added. “He could only eat soft food for six weeks, until it healed, and then he had to come back and have another operation to get those wires removed.”
Despite the fact that the boy has completely recovered from his injuries, he still feels discomfort inside his mouth as three or four teeth were found to be missing, because he has lacked the insurance coverage to afford to have them restored, Russell added in a statement.
“He’s still missing all those teeth, but he’s hoping to get them fixed this summer,” she added.
Between the 2009 and 2016 period, there were 195 documented events of explosion and fire involving electronic cigarettes, as per the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).
The incidents led to 133 injuries where 38 of the cases were severe enough to warrant hospitalization, the USFA adds.
In October 2016, doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle had reported that treating 15 patients with injuries from e-cigarette explosions over a nine-month span, as per the letter they published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
People who suffered from injuries included flame burns, chemical burns and blast injuries to their face, hands, thighs or groin, the Seattle doctors added in a statement.
Dr. Hamad Husainy who works as a staff physician with Helen Keller Hospital in Florence, Ala., said, “It’s not so rare that we’re considering this a freak event that happens. This is a potential problem, and as these things become more and more popular, it’s probably going to become more prevalent.”