Press Release / November 15, 2019
The Department of Health (DOH) received official report on the first case of E-cigarette or Vape-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) from a private pediatric pulmonologist based in the Visayas.
The attending physician relayed pertinent details of the case to the DOH through its official communication channels. According to the case report, the patient is a 16-year old female adolescent who had been using e-cigarettes for six months while concurrently consuming combustible cigarettes, referred to as “dual use.”
The patient, who was admitted last October 21, initially presented with sudden-onset severe shortness of breath, required oxygen supplementation and ICU admission. 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). After receiving appropriate care from the attending pulmonologist, the patient was subsequently discharged.
The DOH is in continuous communication with the attending pulmonologist for updates regarding the condition of the patient.
“All e-cigarette users should seek immediate medical help, and ask their doctors for ways to quit these harmful products. No e-cigarette product should be accessible to young children and adolescents, who are uniquely susceptible to the harms of e-cigarettes and nicotine. I urge non-users not to even try e-cigarettes at all,” Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo stated.
The medical community is urged to exercise due diligence and specifically ask patients about vaping and e-cigarette use, especially those presenting with any respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty of breathing, and chest pain.
Reports of suspected EVALI cases can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.