By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said that it has already received the first reported case of electronic cigarette or vape-associated lung injury (EVALI) in Central Visayas.
The DOH said that the patient involved was a 16-year-old female, who was admitted in an undisclosed hospital last October. The patient had been using electronic cigarettes for six-months “while concurrently consuming combustible cigarettes.”
“The patient, who was admitted last October 21, initially presented with sudden onset of severe shortness of breath, required oxygen supplementation and ICU admission,” the DOH said.
“Upon admission, the clinical impression was initially considered to be infectious in nature. However, upon further evaluation, the patient met the case criteria for EVALI based on the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC),” it added.
Based on a separate report provided by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the patient had non-productive cough with medications providing no relief, two weeks prior to her admission to the hospital. It also showed that the patient was non-asthmatic and no report of “illicit drug use.”
The patient, meanwhile, was already discharged from the hospital.
As of November 7, the “patient is well with no recurrence of symptoms. Patient had abstained from using e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes since her hospitalization,” the report said.
Last October, the DOH urged all government hospitals, clinics, and other health facilities to monitor and report cases of EVALI.
The DOH warned the users of electronic cigarettes that they are at “great risk” for electronic cigarette or vape-associated lung injury.
“Ask your doctor about the best way to quit, and stay away from its aerosol emissions,” the DOH said.
“The DOH and FDA advised the public, especially young persons under the age of 25, pregnant persons, immunocompromised persons, the elderly and those with heart disease, to avoid electronic cigarettes altogether,” it added.