Skip to main content

CDC Updates Guidance For Evaluation of Vaping-Related Lung Injury

October 16, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its interim guidelines on the evaluation and treatment of patients with suspected vaping-related lung injury.

The new guidance updates recommendations that were released in late August of 2019 which were based upon the limited data available from the first reported cases. Using data from the cases that were reported between then and now, the CDC sought to provide interim guidance for the initial clinical evaluation, criteria for hospital admission and treatment, patient follow-up, special considerations for high-risk groups, and clinical and public health recommendations.

Among the recommendations:

  • Clinicians should inquire in a nonjudgmental, empathetic manner about a history of vaping, including which substances are used.
  • Any patient with respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms who report vaping should undergo chest radiographs.
  • Empirical treatment with combinations of antimicrobials, corticosteroids, and antivirals should be considered.
  • Hospitalization, especially in those with respiratory distress, should be “strongly considered.”

“This investigation is ongoing. CDC will continue to work in collaboration with FDA and state and local partners to investigate cases and to update guidance, as appropriate, as new data emerges from this complex outbreak,” they wrote.

—Michael Potts


Siegel DA, Jatlaoui TC, Koumans EH, et al. Update: interim guidance for health care providers evaluating and caring for patients with suspected e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury — United States [published online October 11, 2019]. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. icon.

Back to Top