Children's Hospital Colorado

Vaping Associated Pulmonary Injury (S3:E6)

Providers may have seen the reports from around the country of growing associations between vaping and more acute, severe lung injury. This is being called vaping associated pulmonary injury (VAPI). The CDC is involved, and many states are now reporting vaping-associated pulmonary cases.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is notifying providers who may see these patients. It is very unclear what is happening, but there is a severe, noninfectious respiratory failure spectrum with an ARDS-like picture. If you know of a past or current patient case that fits the criteria discussed in this podcast, please contact the Pulmonary Team via OneCall at 720-777-3999.

Listen to a pediatric pulmonologist discuss VAPI

In today’s special episode, we are discussing VAPI and how to diagnosis, treat and report VAPI. Our expert guest is Robin Deterding, MD, Chief of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at Children’s Colorado and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In this episode, our expert discusses:

  • The term “vaping” and how the mechanism of an e-cigarette works
  • How children are unknowingly exposing their lungs to dangerous chemicals
  • The type of products, including marijuana, that is consumed through these devices
  • The disease lipoid pneumonia that is caused by small oil particles in the lung
  • How “dabbing” concentrates THC, a psychoactive component of marijuana, to 99%
  • Neurological and behavior-forming risks associated with vaping
  • The scope of the vaping epidemic and the states that are most affected
  • ARDS-type responses and other acute clinical symptoms that should get immediate attention
  • Why it is imperative to uncover the vape history before starting treatment
  • Asking questions to patients with acute presentation and the CDC reporting mechanism
  • The need for revised legislation around vaping and greater public awareness
  • The role of X-rays and CT scans in diagnosis
  • The lung as a delicate filter and immune organ that stimulates the immune system
  • The importance of pediatricians equipping themselves to talk to and educate parents

Reporting suspected VAPI cases in Colorado

Report suspected cases to CDC through the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) Disease Reporting Line at 303-692-2700 or 303-370-9395 (after hours). This includes potential cases who have presented since June 1, 2019. CDPHE personnel will conduct a medical record review and contact the patients to administer a thorough investigation questionnaire. You can also fax a Local Public Health Intake Form to the CDPHE.

Treatment of VAPI at Children’s Colorado

Our pediatric pulmonology experts at Children's Colorado are nationally recognized for their work with children who have common and complex breathing problems. Our pediatric pulmonologists, along with other Colorado physicians, pioneered many of the standard practices used to treat and diagnose pediatric respiratory disease today.

Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.