Vape Pen Explodes, Breaks 17-Year-Old Boy’s Jaw

An illustration shows a man exhaling smoke from an electronic cigarette in Washington, DC

A 17-year-old boy was left with horrific injuries, including a broken jaw and several missing teeth, after an e-cigarette exploded in his face, according to a recent report.

The New England Medical Journal released the case study Wednesday as part of a public health effort to warn people about the consequences of vaping.

The journal labeled vaping “a public health concern,” although the incident described in the case study was atypical among people who have been injured from vaping.

“People need to know before they buy these devices that there’s a possibility they’re going to blow up in your pocket, in your face,” said Dr. Katie Russell, the trauma medical director at Primary Children’s Hospital who first treated the boy.

The teenager, who lived in a rural area of Nevada, had been rushed to the nearest hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, five hours after the incident occurred.

“His injury was fairly extensive where he had lost several teeth. There was not really much tissue along his gum line where the teeth sit either,” Dr. Jonathan Skirko, the surgeon who treated the boy’s jaw, told the New York Daily News.

It is unclear what brand of e-cigarette the boy had been using, and the teen did not know how his injury took place. He admitted that he had used the e-cigarette numerous times before.

The medical journal stated that the 17-year-old underwent surgery, which included “open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture, dental extraction, and débridement of devitalized tissue.”

Although the injury stated in the report is an uncommon issue among people who vape, other vaping injuries are quite common. The case study found that between 2015 and 2017, American hospitals treated 2,035 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries.


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