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RM50,297.37 for a 4-day admission to treat vape-related lung issues

PUTRAJAYA: How much does it cost to treat e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI)?

A whopping RM50,297.37 for a four-day hospital admission, caretaker Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin revealed.

In stressing the dangers of EVALI, Khairy said its threat should not be taken lightly as the disease could lead to other health problems.

He said the danger posed by the use of e-cigarettes was worrisome due to the effects of secondhand smoking as well.

Khairy said EVALI was first reported in 2019 by the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with 2,800 lung injury cases and 68 deaths. 

According to the Medical Research and National Morbidity of 2019, there are about 1.1 million e-cigarette users in Malaysia.

“The use of e-cigarettes can lead to other health issues, such as numbness, palpitation and hallucination. Such a scenario is very risky and lead to the increase in morbidity and fatality rates,” Khairy said after launching of the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) on the management of EVALI today.

Nevertheless, he reminded the public that early detection could save lives and reduce treatment cost.

“There are two main criteria necessary in diagnosing EVALI, the first being history of exposure to e-cigarettes  and subsequently, (observed) radiological changes based on the X-ray and CT-scan of the lungs. 

“(However) based on the definition of EVALI by the CDC in 2019, early detection and treatment can be provided for patients so that long-term complications can be lessened and treatment cost reduced.”

He said there were two EVALI cases in Malaysia in 2019, eight last year and four suspected ones so far this year.

“The Health Ministry is keeping tabs on cases of breathing difficulties associated with the use of e-cigarettes.”

He reiterated that EVALI must be monitored due to the lack of awareness about the disease, even among medical and healthcare practitioners and personnel.

“E-cigarettes might not be perceived to be as dangerous and deadly as smoking conventional cigarettes, but they are still dangerous and very risky to one’s health.”

Source: New Straits Times

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