Safety

IL patient dies after an alleged operating room fire

Hospital Safety Insider, September 23, 2009

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A patient's death following an operating room flash fire serves as a good reminder for surgical teams to review preventive measures.
 
The incident allegedly occurred at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, IL. The patient died September 8 at another medical center after the fire allegedly burned her at Heartland Regional September 2, according to the Associated Press.
 
Heartland Regional was tight-lipped about the incident when contacted last Friday. "Right now, we are not going to comment on that," said a director of marketing. She hung up before answering other questions, and the hospital didn't return subsequent requests from us for information.
 
Generally, surgical fires require a confluence of elements known as the "fire triangle":
  • Ignition sources (e.g., electrocautery pens)
  • Fuels (e.g., drapes or alcohol prepping solutions)
  • Oxidizers (e.g., oxygen-enriched atmospheres)
Watch for further analysis in an upcoming issue of Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.



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