Safety

Tip of the week: Perform a risk assessment for surgical fires

Hospital Safety Insider, December 1, 2011

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Organizations must ensure communication among members of the surgical team and establish a system to raise consciousness about the risks, says Kenneth Silverstein, MD, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, DE.

At Christiana, the surgical team performs a fire risk assessment as part of the timeout immediately prior to the start of each procedure in the OR or at the bedside in the peri-anesthesia areas.

Staff members assess the potential fire risks based on whether there is an open oxygen source or an available ­ignition source, or if the surgical site is above the patient's xiphoid.

For more tips, visit the Hospital Safety Center.



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