MURRAY – Intermountain Healthcare physicians have developed new treatment guidelines for vaping-related lung injury responsible for deaths around the country, including one in Utah, published Friday by a major medical journal, the same day, U.S. health officials reported breaking find the cause of the outbreak.
“First, what is unique about the guidelines is that they are out. No one else really knows how to treat these patients, "Dr. Denitza Blagev at a news conference held in a trauma room at Intermountain Medical Center shortly before the announcement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federal agency said vitamin E acetate was contained in fluid taken from the lungs of 29 patients from 1
Vitamin E acetate had been previously detected in vapors' fluids used by those who became ill, but this is the first time a suspected common substance has been found in the injured lungs of all patients tested, the Associated Press reported.
"We are in a better place when it comes to having a very strong culprit," Dr. Anne Schuchat from CDC for the wire service. But officials also warned that other toxic substances could not be ruled out and it could take studies that use animals to confirm vitamin E acetate could cause lung damage.
Blagev later stated that she had been told that three of the patients who had the substance in their lungs were from Utah, although it was not clear if they were also included in the Intermountain study. She said the new findings do not change the treatment guidelines.
She said she hopes to see a routine test developed for vitamin E acetate because the diagnosis of armpit disease has been invoked to rule out other causes. Some patients do not know about their vaping, so such a test can also help doctors confirm the use of the devices.
"We are happy that everyone else is seeing progress," Blagev said. “It's probably not a clear deal, but I think it's an exciting breakthrough for this. I think we and other clinics are really excited to have this extra information, and I think it would be a leap forward to be able to test for it and respond in real time to care for patients. "
critical care physician said that Intermountain's recently published guidelines, which include a call for different doses of steroids depending on the severity of the symptoms, are based on the treatment of more than 60 patients at 13 different Intermountain hospitals and clinics between June and October.
"It's more than just a handful of cases. It's to know, here's what we did for this larger number of patients and here's how it worked. That's what they did, Blagev said. She said that patients who are not as sick do not need to be hospitalized and can even be treated at home.
Getting the guidelines for other doctors through the article published in The Lancet, an internationally recognized medical journal, also serves as a reminder of the mysterious disease associated with using e-cigarettes or vaping that first appeared in March in the United States. still a threat.
"By sharing the guideline, we reach clinics and hold e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung damage in everyone's minds, especially as we enter the flu season," Blagev said, making the diagnosis more difficult due to the common symptoms of shortness of breath, coughing , chest pain, and nausea and vomiting.
The number of anxiety-related illness cases in Utah will be updated Tuesday, but 109 cases were reported from Oct. 28, including by a Salt Lake County man under 30 who died. had not been hospitalized, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Nationwide, 2,051 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from every state except Alaska, and 39 deaths in 24 states and the District of Columbia, according to the latest The figures reported on Tuesday.
Only three states – California, Texas and Illinois – reported more cases than Utah.
Blagev's advice for Avoiding becoming a statistic was easy – don't vape.
"The real message really is that there is no safe thing to vape," she said. "It's not just THC. We've seen it with nicotine, people who have been vaping for years and got sick during the summer and This is different and for now we do not know what the cause of it and the safest thing is not to vape. "
Contributors: The Associated Press