Findings on PH's first vaping-related injury 'not conclusive', DOH chief Duque says


Posted at Nov 16 2019 02:40 PM

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MANILA - Findings that a teenage Filipina from Central Visayas had suffered from vaping-related injuries are "not conclusive," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Saturday, noting that the patient needs to undergo more tests to rule out other possible causes of her condition.

The 16-year-old girl's lung injury case complied with only 3 out of 4 parameters prescribed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in confirming electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injuries (EVALI), Duque told ANC's Dateline Philippines Weekend.

"The findings are not conclusive if it is really related to the use of e-cigarettes or vaping for the simple reason that no tests were done to definitively rule out possible infectious diseases that may be caused by virus or bacteria," he said.

The hospital where the teenager was admitted did not have the equipment needed for the test, but arrangements have been made to obtain samples from the girl for further testing, he said.

The patient also smoked traditional cigarettes apart from vaping. 

Duque said under the CDC's guidelines, a patient can only be diagnosed with EVALI if he or she met the following parameters:

  • History of smoking e-cigarette and flavored liquid for more than 90 days
  • Evidence of pulmonary injury
  • Viral panel test 
  • No plausible other explanation to say why patient developed condition

Medical officials need "to rule out pre-existing heart diseases or rheumatologic condition as well as rinoplastical conditions," he said.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said the teenage girl was admitted to a hospital last month for "sudden-onset severe shortness of breath."

The girl, who has been using e-cigarettes for 6 months, was administered with "oxygen supplementation and ICU admission" due to some pulmonary injuries, the DOH said.