Jason Stine suffered major burn injuries after an e-cigarette explosion in his pocket. According to CBS 5, the man was driving on the freeway when the vape pen that was in his pocket exploded.
The jeans he was wearing were burned and the heat was so intense that a coin was melted into the fabric of his jeans. Stine said it was like lighting off a flare.
He pulled over to the side of the road in a desperate attempt to extinguish the fire. He scooped up the ice cream he had in the car to put out the flames. But the fire ignited the car seat, key fob, and even part of the steering wheel and column. Stine ended up in the hospital for more than a week because of severe burn injuries.
He told CBS 5 that the entire back of his leg is skin grafts and that he is in an “extreme amount of pain.” Stine said he had no idea what caused his vape to explode and that it was a new device, which he believed he was using properly. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason Stine, and we wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
E-Cigarette Explosion: Ongoing Investigations
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vape explosions from 2015 through 2017 led to 2,035 emergency room visits from explosions and burn injuries nationwide. Investigations into these devices are ongoing as e-cigarettes and vaping devices have become a multi-billion-dollar industry. A more recent study released last year shows that over a four-year period, 15 teens were injured from exploding e-cigarettes, according to surgeons who have treated young people at nine U.S. hospitals.
Doctors say that it’s an injury they are seeing with increasing frequency. Reporting in the Journal of Surgical Research, doctors detailed injuries from e-cigarette explosions from January 2016 through December 2019. Ten teens were hospitalized, including three who were admitted to intensive care units. The report stated that six teens had facial burns, including five who had lost multiple teeth.
Five victims had burn injuries around the thigh and groin, four burned their hands, and four suffered burns to their eyes. One teen injured their radial nerve, which runs through the arm, and another fractured their jaw. Overall, six teens needed surgery, including one who required multiple operations for a severe hand injury. Three of the teenagers had never used e-cigarettes before the day they were hurt.
Vaping has been surging in popularity and is far more common than traditional cigarettes among teens in the United States. E-cigarettes are used by more than 2 million teens, including more than 11% of high school students and almost 3% of middle school students. Nationwide, there were 195 reported fires and explosions involving e-cigarettes in all ages between 2009 and 2016, according to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
Types of Injuries Caused by E-Cigarette Explosions
The majority of fires involving faulty vapes take place while the device is in the user’s pocket or when it is in use. An e-cigarette explosion could lead to serious injuries to the legs, thighs, face, mouth, and head. Overheating, smoke, explosions, and fires could cause a number of severe injuries, including but not limited to:
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Severe burn injuries.
- Eye injuries.
- Facial injuries.
- Shattered bones.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
- Lost fingers.
- Loss of limbs.
- Head injuries.
Many of these injuries could result in long-term or permanent injuries and health conditions that require emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgery, medical care, and medical devices. These injuries could also cause trauma, psychological, and emotional issues because of disfigurement or permanent scars. In some cases, e-cigarette explosions may also result in death.
Steps to Prevent Vape Explosions
Here are a few steps to take to prevent e-cigarettes or batteries from exploding:
- Consider using vape devices with safety features such as firing button locks, vent holes, and protection against overcharging.
- Keep any loose batteries in a case to prevent contact with other metal objects, such as coins or keys.
- Never charge your vape device with a phone or tablet charger.
- Do not leave your vape device charging overnight or charging unattended.
- Replace the batteries if they ever get damaged or wet. Contact the manufacturer if your device gets damaged and the batteries are not replaceable.
- Use only batteries recommended for your device. Do not mix different brands of batteries.
- Charge your device on a clean, flat surface away from anything that can easily catch fire and in a place where you can clearly see it.
- Protect the vaping device from extreme temperatures by not leaving it in direct sunlight or in your car on a hot summer day or freezing cold night.
If You Have Been Injured by an E-Cigarette Explosion or Fire
The sad fact is that vaping explosions still occur despite many of these precautions being taken. If you have been injured as the result of a defective vaping device or poorly made battery, it is imperative that you contact an experienced product defect lawyer who has dealt with e-cigarette defect injuries.
An injury attorney at Bisnar Chase can help protect your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for damage such as medical expenses, lost income, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.