Surgeon’s Case Report: Rise in Burns from Vape Battery Explosions

By Levin Simes
July 16, 2017

A case report in the May edition of the medical journal Burns notes that failing lithium-ion batteries are responsible for the uptick in new cases of battery explosion burns.  Batteries stored in e-cig or vape mod devices can suffer from a run-away chemical reaction and explode.

The case report is titled “Canary in the coal mine—Initial reports of thermal injury secondary to electronic cigarettes” and details the first three cases from the local emergency room resulting from e-cig vape battery explosions.

One of the authors notes his motivation behind the case report:

That’s when Vercruysse, a burn surgeon, started to ask those patients and ones with similar wounds how they got burned.

“They all told me basically the same thing,” he says. “They had an electronic cigarette in their pocket, then they started feeling a lot of heat in their pocket, and then they couldn’t get their pants off or get the device out of their pocket quickly enough.”

Vercruysse says he then started perusing the medical literature and noticed that no one had written about the topic previously. So he and his colleagues decided to write a case report describing the initial three patients they had treated for e-cigarette burns.

As e-cig and vape devices become more popular, but lack the battery safety technology kept in other devices such as smartphones, burns from failing devices or damaged batteries are becoming more common.  To read more about e-cig battery explosions visit our site here.

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