Safety

Fire in oxygen-enriched atmosphere forces relocation of dozens

Hospital Safety Insider, December 23, 2009

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Fire authorities suspect a spark near oxygen equipment caused a fire that resulted in 94 patients being relocated within Kindred Hospital at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis.
 
The fire was contained to a third-floor patient room at the long-term acute care facility, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. No one was injured during the incident.
 
Oxygen-enriched atmospheres promote burning in the presence of a heat source and fuel (e.g., tubing or linens), which is why sparks are so dangerous near medical gas equipment. The same principle is at the root of surgical fires.



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