In 2019, the United States experienced a nationwide outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). More than half of these patients required admission to an intensive care unit (ICU).
To synthesize information critical to pulmonary/critical care specialists in the care of patients with EVALI, we examined data available from patients hospitalized with EVALI between August 2019 and January 2020; reviewed the clinical course and critical care experience with those patients admitted to the ICU; and compiled opinion of national experts.
Of the 2,708 confirmed or probable EVALI patients requiring hospitalization as of January 21, 2020, 1,604 (59.2%) had data available on ICU admission; of these, 705 (44.0%) were admitted to the ICU and are included in this analysis. The majority of ICU patients required respiratory support (88.5%), and in severe cases required intubation (36.1%), or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (6.7%). The majority (93.0%) of these ICU patients survived to discharge. Review of the clinical course and expert opinion provided insight into: imaging; considerations for bronchoscopy; medical treatment, including use of empiric antibiotics, antivirals, and corticosteroids; respiratory support, including considerations for intubation, positioning maneuvers, and ECMO; and patient outcomes.
Review of the clinical course of EVALI patients requiring ICU admission and compilation of expert opinion provided critical insight into pulmonary/critical care-specific considerations for this patient population. As a large proportion of patients hospitalized with EVALI required ICU admission, it is important to remain prepared to care for patients with EVALI.