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Increasing number of patients at VCU Medical Center with injuries from exploding E-Cigarettes

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RICHMOND, Va. -- An increasing number of people are visiting VCU Medical Center these days with serious injuries caused by electronic cigarette explosions, according to Dr. Michael Feldman, the Medical Director of the Evans Haynes Burn Center.

“We’ve seen patients who have had bad enough injuries that they’ve had to be admitted to the intensive care unit,” Feldman said.

They’re injuries caused by explosions like the ones seen in a video shared by BBC News, that, according to the article, shows an E-cigarette exploding inside a bar while it was charging on an IPad charger.

E Cig exploding

“Holy *$%&, that’s exactly what I would be charging mine off of,” William Pochop, who uses E-Cigarettes, said.

The sister of Cordero Caples who lives in Colorado Springs, started a GoFundMe page after she said an electronic cigarette exploded and broke his neck.

The page shows several pictures of Caples in the hospital with a brace around his neck and missing several teeth.

“I think this is something where people need to be educated and perhaps we need better regulations so that these devices are less dangerous,” Feldman said.

E cigsMost of the electronic cigarette users we talked to said they were unaware that the devices could explode.

“I have never heard of that happening,” Chance Green, who uses e-cigarettes, said.

“I definitely didn’t know that was happening at all…thank you,” Pochop said.

A report from FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration found the construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to be like “flaming rockets” when a battery fails.

The report found the vast majority of explosions occur when the battery is charging, and users must use manufacturer-approved power sources when re-charging.

Dr. Feldman said he is asking the university’s Internal Review Board for permission to study patient data related to e-cigarette injuries.