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Guidance for Providers Caring for Patients with Suspected Vaping-Related Respiratory Illness

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 21, 2019

Arizona Health Alert Network

Society PA,

As of October 17th, 1,479 cases of vaping-related respiratory illness have been reported nationally, with 33 deaths.  

Based on these cases, CDC has provided Interim Guidance for health care providers who are evaluating and managing patients with vaping-related respiratory illness.

With this new guidance, Arizona providers are requested to do the following:

  • Report suspected cases of vaping-related respiratory illnesses (VRRI) in hospitalized patients to the Arizona Poison & Drug Information Systems at 1-800-222-1222.
  • Ask patients with acute pulmonary illnesses about vaping or e-cigarette use, including use of non-nicotine substances.
  • Reassess outpatients with suspected VRRI within 24-48 hours to manage possible worsening illness.
  • Admit patients with suspected VRRI if their O2 saturation <95%, and initiate steroid treatment promptly.
  • Determine if any remaining product (including devices and liquids) are available for testing and notify the Arizona Poison & Drug Information Systems.
  • Provide patients with clear and consistent messaging:
    • If you are a child, you should not use vape products;
    • If you are pregnant, you should not use vape products;
    • If you are an adult who vapes, you should stop if you have concerning symptoms;
    • Do not buy vape-related products from informal sources (e.g. friends, family, “off the street”) and do not modify the device or add non-manufacturer substances.
    • If you are an adult using e-cigarette, or vaping, products to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes. Use evidence-based treatments, including healthcare provider counseling and FDA approved medications.
  • Refer patients, as appropriate, to the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (ASHLine) at 1-800-55-66-222 for vaping and smoking cessation support.


Thank you,
Arizona Health Alert Network

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