Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 09/09/2019  (Plain Text Version)

Return to Graphical Version


In this issue:
•  MMA Holds Successful Annual Session in Bar Harbor
•  MMA Membership Approves Resolutions on Immunizations, Plastic Waste
•  Vaping Illness Cases Rise; Now Five Deaths
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  PMP Password Policy Change; New SAMHS Director Attends Annual Session
•  Maine CDC to Hold Rulemaking on Death With Dignity
•  MMA Legislative Calls Finished for the Session
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  MICIS Individual Academic Detailing Sessions on Opioid Topics
•  2019 Clinical & Legal Opioid Update: Tuesday, Sept 10th at the Augusta Civic Center
•  MICIS: 2019 Clinical & Legal Opioid Update - Fall Dates Scheduled
•  VA Maine Healthcare System to Host Community Mental Health Summit on MAT September 11th
•  Qualidigm Rapid Induction Starting in the ED (RISE) Training
•  Obesity Medicine: There is no 'one size fits all' - Monthly Lecture Series Beginning September 18th
•  Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) Training Program - October 9
•  Celebrate 65 Years of MMA Executive Leadership on Oct. 26. Tickets Available Now
•  MMA partners with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program and the Maine CDC/Sweetser to offer training for clinicians.
•  Physician
•  Nurse Practitioner
•  Full-time, Part-time and Leadership Opportunities for Physicians
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  Physician Director of Primary Care
•  Family Medicine Specialist or an Internist
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health


Vaping Illness Cases Rise; Now Five Deaths

The number of people with a severe lung illness linked to vaping has more than doubled to 450 possible cases in 33 states, and the number of deaths rose to five.


[from the AMA Morning Report]

The New York Times (9/6, Richtel, Grady) reported health officials and medical experts “warned the public about the dangers of vaping and discouraged using the devices as the number of people with a severe lung illness linked to vaping more than doubled to 450 possible cases in 33 states and the number of deaths rose to five.” The third, fourth, and fifth people to die from the illness passed away in Indiana, Minnesota, and California, respectively, as health officials and physicians continue their efforts to identify the cause of the illness.

The AP (9/6, Stobbe) reported health officials said that no single device, liquid, or ingredient has been tied to all cases. However, many of those who have fallen ill have reported vaping THC, and federal officials have said they are examining vitamin E acetate as a potential cause. Meanwhile, physicians have reported cases in patients who say they only vaped nicotine, so many officials are warning people to be wary of all vaping products.

The Washington Post (9/5, A1, Sun) reports the FDA found a derivative of vitamin E “in samples of marijuana products used by people” with vaping-related illnesses “in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks.” The federal agency “shared that information with state health officials during a telephone briefing this week, according to several officials who took part in the call.”

NBC News (9/5, Edwards) reports on its website that “there have been 361 confirmed or suspected cases reported by state health departments nationwide,” including two deaths, the first in Illinois and the second in Oregon.

USA Today (9/5, O'Donnell, Robinson) reports the New York State Department of Health announced that they “are focusing their investigation of vaping-related illnesses on vitamin E acetate after finding very high levels of the substance in marijuana-containing samples being examined.” In the state’s investigation, “at least one vitamin E acetate vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing.” The article adds that “the person who died in Oregon” earlier this year marking the second death linked to the illnesses “had recently used an e-cigarette or vaping device containing cannabis purchased from a cannabis dispensary, according to the Oregon Health Authority.”

CNN (9/5, Howard, Gumbrecht) reports the New York health department “noted that vitamin E acetate is not known to cause harm when ingested as a vitamin supplement or applied to the skin, but the department continues to investigate its health effects when inhaled because its oil-like properties could be associated with the symptoms seen in the lung illness cases.”