Syracuse hospital warns patients after electronic cigarette fire

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

April 23, 2014

A hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., is warning patients not to use electronic cigarettes as an alternative to regular cigarettes after a patient on oxygen apparently caught fire while using one, reports the newspaper website Syracuse.com.
 
The cause of the March 22 fire at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center is still under investigation, but officials have said the unidentified patient was using an electronic cigarette at the time. The patient suffered burns across her face, but has since been released to home care, according to the report.
 
Electronic cigarettes contain a battery-operated heating element, and a replaceable cartridge filled with liquid nicotine or other chemicals that when heated converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor. Although considered safer than regular cigarettes, there have been a small number of cases in which the devices have exploded because the batteries were overcharged or put in wrong, the report added.