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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

If You Use E-cigarettes, It’s Important to Let Your Doctor Know!

Published in Pediatrics, Emergency Services, For the Health of It Author: Kathleen Kulus,MD

Today’s news headlines are focusing on a disturbing trend: hundreds of people nationwide are suffering severe lung injuries that appear to be associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping – and Minnesotans are no exception.

The Minnesota Department of Health is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to determine a cause and what steps can be taken to prevent additional injuries. So far, no specific product or device has been pinpointed, but the investigation continues.

At CentraCare, we are being as thorough as possible in trying to identify these cases. But we need our patients to be completely honest about their e-cigarette habits and disclose specific information about the products they have been using. We recognize many people use e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, but we are also seeing more and more teens becoming addicted to these products due to their nicotine content.

If you use e-cigarettes or vaping products and have the following symptoms, please see a doctor as soon as possible:

  • cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • fatigue, fever, or abdominal pain

Some patients who have experienced a severe lung injury say their symptoms developed quickly, others say they developed over the course of several weeks.

Be sure to you inform your medical care team about your e-cigarette use at the beginning of your appointment.

It is our recommendation that everyone refrain from using e-cigarettes or vaping products until we know more.

If you are an adult who is trying to quit smoking, you can request an appointment with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist by calling 320-200-3200.