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Vape Pen Explosion Shatters Nevada Boy’s Jaw and Breaks His Teeth

A 17-year-old boy was vaping in March 2018 when he suffered severe facial injuries. An e-cigarette explosion in his mouth, breaking bones and blowing out teeth.

After the incident, doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City operated to reconstruct Adams’ jaw. It required doctors to remove some of his teeth, repair tissue and insert plates.

E-Cigarette Explosions

A 17-year-old Nevada boy used an e-cigarette to quit smoking in early 2018 but the device exploded in his mouth, shattering his jaw and breaking several teeth. He needed to travel five hours from his home in rural Ely to a pediatric hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The case was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, which described Adams’ injuries and called exploding e-cigarettes a “new and unique hazard” that should be “warned about.”

A 2017 report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency said that there were 195 reported explosions involving e-cigarettes between 2009 and 2016. In most cases, the e-cigarette exploded while it was being held or stored in a user’s pocket. The reports also mentioned issues with the battery and a short circuit caused by the e-cigarette touching other metal objects in the user’s pocket.

E-Cigarette Batteries

E-Cigarette batteries are made of lithium-ion, a flammable liquid that overheats and bursts into flame when the battery comes into contact with metal objects such as keys or loose change. The resulting burns can be severe, leading to extensive skin grafts and permanent scarring.

Austin Adams, 17 of Rural Ely, Nevada, shattered his jaw and broke several teeth when the vape pen that he had bought to help him quit smoking exploded in his mouth in March 2018. Burton said she rushed her son to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, an agonizing five hour drive from their home in rural Ely, to be treated for his blast injury and severe burns to his face.

The e-cigarette explosion that shattered Adams’ jaw was the result of an 18650 battery, which is slightly larger than a typical AA battery. The batteries are used in a variety of power tools, electric vehicles and other devices, but are not intended for use in consumer-modified e-cigarettes.

E-Cigarette Smoke

An e-cigarette is a smoking tool that simulates tobacco use. They consist of a battery, heating element, and a place to hold liquid that contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.

A 17-year-old boy in rural Nevada was using an e-cigarette to help him quit tobacco when it exploded in his mouth, shattering his jaw and breaking several teeth. He was rushed to a pediatric hospital in Utah 250 miles away with his mother, reports say.

The teen’s injuries were severe enough that doctors had to sew his gum line back together, put plates on his jawbone and issue him temporary braces to keep his remaining teeth aligned. He also had to have his mouth wired shut for six weeks, limiting him to liquids and pureed foods.

Experts warn that e-cigarettes may not be as safe as advertised, because they don’t offer full safety information about their batteries. They often lack fire-safe features and can come into contact with coins, keys or other metal objects.

E-Cigarette Safety

A 17-year-old boy from Nevada suffered horrific injuries after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth. He had to travel 250 miles to get to a hospital where doctors could reconstruct his jaw and fix the broken teeth he had lost.

The incident, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, comes after numerous reports of burns and explosions involving e- cigarettes. The FDA said last month that two people in the U.S. have died due to e- cigarette explosions.

Across the country, experts say nearly two visits to emergency rooms per day are related to e-cigarette burns and explosions.

Injuries can include flame burns, chemical burns and blast injuries to the face, hands, thighs or groin. But they can also result in fractures or broken bones.

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