A man died two days after his e-cigarette exploded in his face, Time recently reported. William Eric Brown of Fort Worth, Texas in the US was using his e-cigarette in the parking lot of a local vape shop on January 27 when the store's manager saw him having issues in the parking lot and called an ambulance.
After Brown was taken to the hospital, he was put into a medically induced coma and died two days later. In records obtained by INSIDER, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner lists Brown's death as "cerebral infarction and herniation" that resulted from parts of the exploded e-cigarette piercing his carotid artery.
In a CBS 11 interview, Brown's family said doctors did not operate on Brown to remove the e-cigarette fragments from his throat after he was put in a coma.
"That three-piece thing went into his throat and stayed there, and that's what [doctors] should have taken out as soon as they got to the hospital, and they decided to wait until Monday or Tuesday," Brown's grandmother Alice Brown told CBS 11.
"JPS Health Network expresses its sincere condolences to the patient's family," the hospital said in a statement to INSIDER. "We will continue to communicate with family members, but because of health privacy laws we cannot comment on this case. We hold ourselves to the highest standards in providing high-quality healthcare and will take family concerns seriously as we review all that transpired."
On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that defective e-cigarette batteries have caused fires and explosions in the past, most of which occurred when the e-cigarette batteries were being charged.
Between 2009 and 2019, the United States Fire Administration reported 195 different e-cigarette explosion or fire incidents. In 68% of the incidents, acute injuries like smoke inhalation, burns, and lacerations were reported.
Brown isn't the first person to die from an e-cigarette explosion. In May 2018, a man in St. Petersburg, Florida died after his e-cigarette exploded, causing a "projectile wound to the head" and burns on 80% of his body, The New York Times reported. According to a report from the United States Fire Administration, this was the first fatality from an e-cigarette explosion.
To address this safety issue, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asks people to report any e-cigarette explosions or other health and safety issues associated with the devices through an online form. In addition, the FDA offers e-cigarette safety tips to users, like only using the charger the device came with, replacing damaged or wet batteries, and abstaining from charging an e-cigarette overnight.
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