Electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as e-cigarettes or “Vapes” are continually advertised as a safer and healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products to many adults trying to quit smoking. Unfortunately, as a teen from Ely, Nevada has discovered, an e-cigarette injury can be far more immediately damaging than the long term effects of tobacco use.
A Life-Changing E-Cigarette Injury
Austin Adams was a 17-year-old teen who was trying to quit smoking in a rural town in Nevada called Ely. To further that goal, he asked his mother to buy him an e-cigarette from a company called VGOD. The teen’s attempt to ease his addiction to tobacco, unfortunately, featured a devastating hitch when Adams suffered an e-cigarette injury that deformed his jaw and face.
Some time after he had begun using the e-cigarette, Adams had the device explode while he was inhaling from it. The resulting explosion tore a piece of his gum out, knocked several teeth out, and fractured the teen’s jaw. To complicate the matter, Adams had to be driven five hours in order to reach the nearest facility equipped to address the issue: Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s Hospital.
One of the attending trauma surgeons at Primary Children’s Hospital was Dr. Katie Russell. Her initial statement about the e-cigarette injury was that “This child had a blast injury to his lower jaw, as well as burns around his lip.” A full write-up about the event in the New England Journal of Medicine detailed the e-cigarette injury as including:
- “A circular puncture to the chin”
- “Extensive lacerations in his mouth”
- “Multiple disrupted lower incisors”
- “Bony incongruity of the left mandible”
- “A comminuted and displaced mandibular fracture with disruption of the left central and lateral incisors”
While all of these injuries are serious, to contextualize the force of the e-cigarette’s explosion special notice should be paid to “comminuted and displaced mandibular fracture.” This statement implies that not only was Austin’s jaw fractured, but it was also “comminuted” or reduced to minute particles in places.
This e-cigarette injury captured the underreported dangers of e-cigarette explosions only a week after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new regulation guide for the e-cigarette industry to improve safety. E-cigarette explosions often happen when the lithium battery inside the “tank” of the e-cigarette overheats and the tank explodes.
The U.S. Fire Administration has also issued a report on e-cigarettes. In their report, the administration wrote that “The shape and construction of electronic cigarettes can make them (more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries) behave like ‘flaming rockets’ when a battery fails.” Additionally, they concluded that, with regard to e-cigarettes and e-cigarette injury, “It is clear that these batteries are not a safe source of energy for these devices.”
The FDA has released a series of “Vape Battery” safety tips but batteries remain the main power source of e-cigarettes and there continues to be a serious risk of e-cigarette injury and death as a result of the usage of these products.
For more information about the risks and dangers of e-cigarettes, see Parker Waichman’s e-cigarette injury page for an in-depth review.
Receiving Compensation For Your E-Cigarette Injury
The case of young Austin Adams demonstrates the risks of the fledgling e-cigarette industry. His e-cigarette injury came in the midst of trying to wean himself off tobacco addiction and the explosion of his e-cigarette will now affect him for years to come. From emergency treatment costs to dental reconstruction, Austin will now experience hardship as the result of a young and risky product.
If you or a loved one have suffered an e-cigarette injury, you need strong legal representation to earn you the compensation to relive the pressure of medical bills and recover your peace of mind. That legal representation lives in the offices of Parker Waichman LLP. At Parker Waichman LLP, teams of experienced trial attorneys are prepared to pursue cases to their utmost conclusions to gain the compensation to help clients return to a happy state of living. Don’t wait. Contact Parker Waichman today for a free consultation and begin your journey to justice.
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