As the number of people affected by the current outbreak of vaping-related illnesses in the United States (US) increases, authorities have issued updated interim clinical guidance for healthcare providers evaluating and caring for patients with e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI).
The interim guidance offers a framework for initial assessment, evaluation, management and follow-up of cases.
When evaluating patients with respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms, it says healthcare providers should consider multiple causes, including the possibility of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products, as well as the possibility of EVALI and concomitant infection.
The guidelines also highlight the importance of asking patients about their use of vaping products in a non-judgemental way.
They also state that healthcare providers should consider empiric use of a combination of antibiotics, antivirals or corticosteroids based on clinical context and the likelihood of other potential aetiologies.
As of October 8, 1,299 cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products had been reported in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands, with 26 deaths recorded.