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Kailani Burton thought she was helping her teen son kick his addiction to cigarettes when she bought him a vaporizer. But the Burton family learned the hard way that e-cigarettes come with a potentially horrific risk all their own.
“He was screaming, ‘It blew up! It blew up!,’ ” the shocked mom tells the Washington Post. She and her husband had been sitting at home when they heard a small explosion — and then their son, Austin, entered the room with blood dripping down his face. His e-cigarette had blasted through his jaw.
Blood - Mouth - Hole - Chin - Burton
“I could see blood in his mouth and a hole in his chin,” says Burton. Austin had a cracked jaw with a good chunk of his mandible destroyed; he had a hole through his chin and lost several teeth. His doctors detail his case in a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Talking to WaPo, Katie W. Russell, the pediatric surgeon who treated 17-year-old Austin, compared his injuries to those seen in “high-speed motor vehicle crashes.” Her colleague, pediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon Jonathan Skirko, says it looked “kind of like a close-range gunshot wound.”
Burton - Son - Hospital - Hometown - Ely
Burton and her maimed son first headed to the local hospital in their hometown of Ely, Nevada, but were turned away for lack of resources. Doctors said they’d have to drive 200 miles to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
They filled the teen’s mouth with gauze and gave him a “vomit bag,” says Burton, noting he didn’t receive any pain medication, then set off on a five-hour journey — almost hitting a wild horse in the process — and finally arrived around...
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