News from the FDA/CDC

EVALI readmissions and deaths prompt guideline change



At least a quarter of rehospitalizations for vaping-related lung injuries occurred within 2 days of initial discharge, and 13.5% of all deaths have occurred after patients left the hospital, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Weekly EVALI cases by hospital admission date, March 31 to Dec. 8

Those who required rehospitalization for e-cigarette or vaping product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) and those who died after discharge were more likely to have one or more chronic conditions than were other EVALI patients, and those “who died also were more likely to have been admitted to an intensive care unit, experienced respiratory failure necessitating intubation and mechanical ventilation, and were significantly older,” Christina A. Mikosz, MD, and associates wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Their analysis included the 1,139 EVALI patients who were discharged on or after Oct. 31, 2019. Of that group, 31 (2.7%) patients were rehospitalized and subsequently discharged and another 7 died after the initial discharge. The median age was 54 years for those who died, 27 years for those who were rehospitalized, and 23 for those who survived without rehospitalization, said Dr. Mikosz of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, and associates.

Those findings, along with the rates of one or more comorbidities – 83% for those who died, 71% for those who were rehospitalized, and 26% for those who did not die or get readmitted – prompted the CDC to update its guidance for postdischarge follow-up of EVALI patients.

That update involves six specific recommendations to determine readiness for discharge, which include “confirming no clinically significant fluctuations in vital signs for at least 24-48 hours before discharge [and] preparation for hospital discharge and postdischarge care coordination to reduce risk of rehospitalization and death,” Mary E. Evans, MD, and associates said in a separate CDC communication (MMWR. 2019 Dec. 20. 68[early release]:1-6).

As of Dec. 17, the CDC reports that 2,506 patients have been hospitalized with EVALI since March 31, 2019, and 54 deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The outbreak appears to have peaked in September, but cases are still being reported: 13 during the week of Dec. 1-7 and one case for the week of Dec. 8-14.

SOURCE: Mikosz CA et al. MMWR. 2019 Dec. 20. 68[early release]:1-7.

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