Just FYI: Vapes keep exploding in people’s mouths

PSA for all the vape fans out there, be warned. They can literally blow up in your pocket, mouth, or wherever you keep them.

Vapes have become something of a trend lately as an alternative to smoking. Despite this, there are still health risks, but maybe not the ones you’d expect. Malfunctions in the lithium-ion battery have been found to have dangerous consequences for the user.

“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, a trauma medical director at Primary Children’s Hospital in Utah, who recently treated a teenager with vape-related injuries.

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“At that time, in my career, I had never seen this. I never heard of this as a possibility” said Russell. “I just wanted to get this out there so other people could know that this was possible,” she explained.

Russell’s 19-year-old patient suffered damage to his face, mouth, and teeth after his vape exploded during use. Scarily, it’s not the first time this has happened either.

According to a 2016 letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, many accidents “involved flame burns, and almost 30% of patients endured blast injuries that led to tooth loss, traumatic tattooing, and extensive loss of soft tissue.” The flame burns required wound care and skin grafts, the doctors wrote.

One study published in 2018 estimated that more than 2,000 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries have sent users to US ER departments from 2015 to 2017.