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The CDC Releases New Laboratory Findings on Lung Injuries Associated with Vaping

lung injuries associated with vaping

This fall, 805 patients in 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands were hospitalized with severe lung injuries associated with vaping. 

Now, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released new laboratory findings to better understand the outbreak. Here’s a quick review of the CDC’s findings, as well as complementary research conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, and what it means for your case against vaping manufacturers. 

Laboratory Findings

As of this November, the CDC conducted extensive analysis of bronchoalveolar fluid samples–i.e. fluid samples taken from the lungs—taken from patients with e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Analyses of those BAL samples identified a common factor: vitamin E acetate, an additive in some e-cigarette and vaping products which contain THC. 

In fact, of the 29 different patient samples submitted from 10 different states, vitamin E acetate was found in all of the samples. THC was found in 82% of samples and nicotine was found in 62% of samples. 

For those who are rusty on your terminology, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. 

The only positive note for e-cigarette manufacturers (a small note at that) is that the CDC did not find plant oils, mineral oils, terpenes (compounds commonly found in or added to THC products) or other major chemicals of concern in e-cigarette and vaping products. That said, the negative implications of vitamin E acetate, THC, and nicotine alone are cause for concern. 

In addition, this is the first time the CDC has found chemicals of concern in biologic samples of patients with these injuries, providing direct evidence that vitamin E acetate is present at the primary injury site. 

Complementary Findings by the FDA

The CDC’s research was done as a complement to ongoing research by the FDA, which is also conducting lab analysis to better understand the lung injury outbreak. To date, the FDA has collected over 1,200 samples from 25 states and one territory, with 938 samples connected to patients and additional samples including vaping devices, products, packaging, and documentation. 

While the FDA has not found a single product implicated in all of the injuries, they do know that THC is present in most of their collected samples. 

As of this month, 77% of the 938 patient-connected samples (719 samples) have undergone some testing. This is what the FDA found: 

  • 465 of these samples contained THC
  • Of these samples containing THC, 50% also contained vitamin E acetate, which was used as a diluent
  • Of these samples containing THC, 23% contained an additional diluent
  • Those samples that contained vitamin E acetate ranged in concentration from 23% to 88%

At this time, the CDC and FDA have not identified a cause (or causes) of these lung injuries. The only commonality at this stage is that all patients used e-cigarette and vaping products. 

That said, while the exact cause of the injuries remains unknown, vaping manufacturers can still be held responsible for lung injuries associated with vaping. Because they placed an unsafe product on the market for consumers, they can be held accountable via product liability torts. 

That’s where we can help you. 

Recovering from Lung Injuries Associated with Vaping

We know that patients recovering from lung injuries associated with vaping have a long road ahead. We also know that manufacturers should not be able to allow a defective product on the market. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a manufacturer’s negligence, we can help. 

At Giroux Amburn, our firm is built on the premise of respect. Our vaping attorneys treat every client like their own family, taking the time to learn about you and your case so that they can fight for your rights against big companies. 

If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, click here to schedule your free consultation. 

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