Brief laboratory report: Surgical drape flammability
Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Nurse Anesthesia, USA. AANA journal
Fires in the operating room continue to present a hazard to patients, at times with catastrophic and debilitating results. Recent data from closed claim files reveal oxygen, electrosurgical unit (ESU), and surgical drapes are common components of the fire triangle in the operating room. In this era of biotechnological sophistication, why are surgical drapes flammable? The purpose of this study was to test the flammability of different surgical drape materials and to determine the time to ignition using a bipolar ESU device in 21%, 35%, and 100% oxygen concentrations. Results show that regardless of oxygen concentration surgical drapes, when exposed to close contact with the ESU, are flammable. Time to ignition decreases with increasing concentrations of oxygen as expected. One of the surgical drapes tested was advertised to the hospital as nonflammable. Future research should focus on surgical drape materials and aim to reduce the flammability of such items in the operating room.
Available from: aana.com
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Elimination of flammable anesthetic gases has had little effect on operating-room fires except to change their etiology. Electrocautery and lasers, in an oxygen-enriched environment, can ignite even the most fire-resistant materials, including the patient, and the fire triad possibilities in the operating room are nearly limitless. This review will: identify operating room contents capable of acting as ignition/oxidizer/fuel sources, highlight operating room items that are uniquely potent fire triad contributors, and operating room identify settings where fire risk is enhanced by proximity of triad components in time or space.
Anesthesiologists are cognizant of the risk of airway surgery fires due to laser ignition of the endotracheal tube and/or its contents. Recently, however, head/neck surgery under monitored anesthesia care has emerged as a high-risk setting for operating room fires; burn injuries represent 20% of monitored anesthesia care-related malpractice claims, 95% of which involved head/neck surgery.
Operating room fires are infrequent but catastrophic. Operating room fire prevention depends on: (a)understanding how fire triad elements interact to create a fire, (b) recognizing how standard operating-room equipment, materials, and supplemental oxygen can become one of those elements, and (c) vigilance for circumstances that bring fire triad elements into close proximity.
Current opinion in anaesthesiology 01/2009; 21(6):790-5. DOI:10.1097/ACO.0b013e328318693a · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A patient had a fire in his chest cavity during dissection of the left internal mammary artery before coronary artery bypass graft. The electrosurgical unit indirectly ignited gauze, resulting in a fire. It was determined that oxygen was being entrained into the surgical field through open pulmonary blebs. This case identifies the need for continued fire training and prevention strategies, persistent vigilance, and quick intervention to prevent injury whenever electrosurgical units are used in an oxygen-enriched environment.
AANA journal 09/2009; 77(4):261-4.
Available from: Carlos Luis Errando
Revista espanola de anestesiologia y reanimacion 01/2010; 57(3):133–135. DOI:10.1016/S0034-9356(10)70186-9
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.