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Fire Breaks Out in Operating Room and Burns Patient’s Face

December 12, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

She went in for routine surgery and now she is in serious condition after her face caught fire on the operating table. The 29-year-old Florida woman went to North Okaloosa Medical Center in Florida because doctors were going to remove some cysts from her head. During the surgery, a fire broke out in the operating room, but hospital staff is not saying how it happened.

As reported at msnbc.com, emergency personnel transported the woman to the University of South Alabama Burn Unit. If this sounds shocking to you, experts say it is not so surprising. According to the report, approximately 650 fires break out in operating rooms every year in the United States. The combination of lasers, electricity, oxygen and alcohol makes conditions ripe for a fire, said one doctor.

The surgical fires cause severe burns, scarring and emotional damage to the victims. At the time of this blog, staff at North Okaloosa is not elaborating on how the fire happened, but they said a full investigation is underway.

Surgical fires are so prevalent that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a workshop to combat these occurrences. An FDA spokesperson said that surgical staff needs to be prepared to act to minimize and even prevent fires in the operating room.

Do you know someone who suffered injuries in a hospital?

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida injury attorneys