Perioperative Implications of Vaping

Amogha Krishna, Wana Mathieu, Eric Mull, Joseph D. Tobias


Over the past 10 - 15 years, there has been a significant increase in the use of electronic cigarettes. These devices are generally used to deliver nicotine through inhalation by aerosolization. While the long-term risk of lung cancer is yet to be known, the chemicals and impurities in the solutions may have other acute and chronic effects on the respiratory system including respiratory failure from adult respiratory distress syndrome. Recent concerns have been raised regarding the potential for significant acute and chronic health care risks of these devices including pneumonitis, airway reactivity and respiratory failure. Given that many of the acute effects are related to the respiratory system, anesthetic care may be required during diagnostic procedures including bronchoscopy to investigate the etiology of acute respiratory symptomatology. We present an adolescent who presented to the operating room for bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage to investigate the etiology of respiratory involvement following an episode of vaping. The healthcare and end-organ effects of nicotine, tobacco smoke and vaping are discussed, and potential anesthetic implications are presented.

J Med Cases. 2020;11(5):129-134


Vaping; Tobacco; Airway reactivity; E-cigarettes

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