ATS Expert Resources: New CDC Clinical Guide on Vaping Lung Injury

Don Hayes, Jr., MD, is the medical director of the Advanced Lung Disease Program and the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Hayes was one of the ATS members who collaborated with the CDC on the clinical guide on vaping lung injury.

Carolyn Calfee, MD, is a professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine at UCSF Department of Medicine. Dr. Calfee was one of the ATS members who collaborated with the CDC on the clinical guide on vaping lung injury.

Today, the CDC is expected to release new recommendations for evaluation and treatment of patients with suspected vaping-associated lung injury (VALI). The document — “Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Evaluating and Caring for Patients with Suspected E-cigarette Use, or Vaping, Associated Lung Injury — United States, October 2019” — was written in concert with national experts identified from professional medical societies, including the American Thoracic Society.

Key Messages Related to the Guide:

  • With this being a highly dynamic and fast-moving public health crisis, the CDC assembled a team of experts to provide guidance to all health care providers who are evaluating or caring for patients with suspected E-cigarette-associated, or vaping-associated lung injury (E-VALI).
  • The document outlines key clinical information that a provider should consider when E-VALI is suspected, including presenting symptoms, physical examination findings, and radiographic abnormalities.
  • The committee also provided recommendations on when consultation with specialists should be considered.
  • The committee outlined management strategies along with recommendations for follow-up to help providers care for patients suspected of E-VALI.

Key Messages on Patient Care:

  • Patients presenting with lung injury of unclear etiology should be asked about vaping exposure; a high index of suspicion is essential so as to obtain a complete exposure history.
  • While the investigation continues, people should refrain from using all e-cigarette or vaping products, including those containing THC or nicotine.

For an interview with Drs. Hayes and Calfee, contact Dacia Morris at [email protected]


About the American Thoracic Society

Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world’s leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society’s more than 16,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The ATS publishes three journals, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.


The ATS will hold its 2020 International Conference, May 15-20, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where world-renowned experts will share the latest scientific research and clinical advances in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.



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