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Doctors warn of e-cigarettes causing leg burns

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Doctors at The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health are sending out a warning to electronic cigarette users after an increase in patients with burns on their legs after leaving the devices in pants pockets.

In the last six months, doctors at Eskenazi Health have treated at least three patients with second and third degree burns. Doctors said all of the patients had an e-cigarette in their pocket, along with change.

Doctors believe the battery in the device is reacting with metal change, causing patients pants to catch on fire and leaving them with serious burns.

Some patients have spent more than six days in the hospital, recovering from the burns.

"They’ve had very significant injuries to their thighs requiring sometimes multiple stage surgery, but certainly skin grafting from those burns," explained Dr. Rajiv Sood.

At Indy E Cigs, experts said there are many safety nets in place to ensure people don't get burned, but it's important for the user to follow those directions.

“You’re gonna smell it. You’re gonna hear it. You’re gonna feel it. It’s the user that ultimately needs to be aware of what’s going on," said Indy E-Cig founder,  Shadi Khoury. "We recommend that you try not to put them in your pocket, that would be the fix all here.”

Doctors at Eskenazi are so concerned about this issue, they're publishing an article on the topic. It will likely be shared with hospitals across the country.