A Novel Classification System for Injuries After Electronic Cigarette Explosions

Scott B Patterson, Allison R Beckett, Alicia Lintner, Carly Leahey, Ashley Greer, Sidney B Brevard, Jon D Simmons, Steven A Kahn
Journal of Burn Care & Research: Official Publication of the American Burn Association 2017, 38 (1): e95-e100
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) contain lithium batteries that have been known to explode and/or cause fires that have resulted in burn injury. The purpose of this article is to present a case study, review injuries caused by e-cigarettes, and present a novel classification system from the newly emerging patterns of burns. A case study was presented and online media reports for e-cigarette burns were queried with search terms "e-cigarette burns" and "electronic cigarette burns." The reports and injury patterns were tabulated. Analysis was then performed to create a novel classification system based on the distinct injury patterns seen in the study. Two patients were seen at our regional burn center after e-cigarette burns. One had an injury to his thigh and penis that required operative intervention after ignition of this device in his pocket. The second had a facial burn and corneal abrasions when the device exploded while he was inhaling vapor. The Internet search and case studies resulted in 26 cases for evaluation. The burn patterns were divided in direct injury from the device igniting and indirect injury when the device caused a house or car fire. A numerical classification was created: direct injury: type 1 (hand injury) 7 cases, type 2 (face injury) 8 cases, type 3 (waist/groin injury) 11 cases, and type 5a (inhalation injury from using device) 2 cases; indirect injury: type 4 (house fire injury) 7 cases and type 5b (inhalation injury from fire started by the device) 4 cases. Multiple e-cigarette injuries are occurring in the United States and distinct patterns of burns are emerging. The classification system developed in this article will aid in further study and future regulation of these dangerous devices.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"