Health officials now blame vitamin E acetate for the "vast majority" of cases in the US. vaping disease outbreak and changed their advice to doctors about more careful monitoring of patients after they return home from the hospital.
Vaping diseases can get worse, even deadly, after patients leave hospital and doctors must check patients within two days of sending them home, according to a case study.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the updated opinion on Friday. Follow-up two days after hospital discharge is shorter than the previous recommendation of one to two weeks.
The new advice is based on a careful analysis of about 3% of patients who returned to hospital after discharge and seven who died after discharge.
Compared to other patients with vaping disease, those who returned to hospital were more likely to have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or other breathing problems such as sleep apnea. Those who died after hospital discharge were more likely to be 50 or older.
The CDC also released new information that continues to point to one culprit: vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent that has been added to illicit THC vapors. THC is the cannabis chemical that makes users feel tall.
AN report published in the New England Journal of Medicine identified the substance in pulmonary fluid from 48 of 51 patients with vaping disease and did not find it in the pulmonary fluid of healthy people. Vitamin E acetate has also been found in vaping product samples.
In the strongest language about what caused the outbreak, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC told reporters during a telephone interview on Friday that it is their "conclusion" that vitamin E acetate caused the disease "in the vast majority of patients."
The outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries in the country continues, but new cases are declining. More than 2,500 cases of vaping disease have been reported by all 50 states. There were 54 deaths and more are under investigation.