Vape Pen Explosion Burn Wound

Michael Schurr, MD
Mountain Area Health Education Center, Asheville, NC


Patient Presentation

  • A 20-year-old male presented with non-circumferential, 2nd degree burns on the posterior and anterior of his lower left leg.
  • His burn was caused by a vape pen that exploded in his pocket, 30 minutes prior to hospital admission.
  • Patient was in a significant amount of pain and was given Dilaudid for inpatient pain management.
  • His wounds were sloughing, had copious amounts of soot, and covered approximately 4% of his total body surface area.
  • Per hospital protocol, his wounds were treated with standard of care: his wounds were irrigated, treated with silver sulfadiazine, then covered with a non-occlusive dressing, followed by a final sterile dressing.
  • Patient was prescribed ibuprofen and Percocet for outpatient pain management and was scheduled for burn debridement and Microlyte® Matrix treatment in 2 days.

Adjunct Therapy

  • Silvadene Cream
  • Saline
  • Kerlix Gauge
  • Ace Wrap

Procedure & Treatment

  • On the day of burn debridement, the patient’s wounds were scrubbed under general anesthesia.
  • Microlyte® Matrix was then placed directly on top of the debrided wound.
  • The Microlyte® Matrix-covered wounds were then covered with Kerlix gauze and finished with an Ace wrap.

Clinical Outcome

  • Seven days after debridement and Microlyte® Matrix treatment, the patient reported that the wound felt much better.
  • All wounds were dry, healing remarkably well, with epithelium fully intact.
  • Patient was no longer in pain.


  • Second-degree burns usually reepithelialize in 2 to 3 weeks1, however, after just 1 application of Microlyte® Matrix, the patient’s wounds were fully reepithelialized in 7 days.
  • Microlyte® Matrix was well-tolerated and associated with a positive outcome.
  • Microlyte® Matrix shows promise in the management of 2nd degree burns.

Figure 1: A. Patient presents with 2nd degree burn wounds covered in slough and soot. B. Patient’s wounds are debrided prior to covering with Microlyte® Matrix. C and D. Patient’s burn wound is remarkably improved, and he is no longer in pain.

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