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Observation
April 2018

Fall With e-Cigarette in Mouth Resulting in Pharyngeal and Esophageal Burns

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(4):385-386. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2017.3265

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are an increasingly popular means of recreational nicotine use. E-cigarettes use a battery-powered heating element to aerosolize nicotine-containing liquid and dispense it through a mouthpiece. Typical devices hold 0.5 to 2 mL of liquid that contains nicotine at levels ranging from 0 to 36 mg/mL.1 There have been reports of e-cigarettes exploding, resulting in burns, facial fractures, and the loss of digits, as well as cases of pediatric nicotine liquid ingestion resulting in nicotine-induced toxic effects and the need for intubation.2-4 We are reporting a case of an e-cigarette striking the posterior pharynx during a fall, resulting in pharyngeal and esophageal burns.

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