Fires in the Operating Room and Intensive Care Unit: Awareness is the Key to Prevention

Critical Care Medicine Department, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.47). 02/2006; 102(1):172-4. DOI: 10.1213/01.ane.0000183641.09008.f2
Source: PubMed


Recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to use alcohol-based substances for hand hygiene and skin antisepsis could introduce new fire hazards in the operating room (OR). This potential for an increase in the number of fires in the hospital setting with wide spread use of alcohol-based agents warrants heightened awareness of the risks and implementation of safety measures when using these agents. Here, we report a patient who, during a tracheostomy, sustained severe burns resulting from a fire in the OR. In this case, the use of an alcohol-based antiseptic was the major contributing factor to the surgical fire.

Download full-text


Available from: Naomi P O'Grady, Sep 09, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Surgical hand hygiene is standard care prior to any surgical procedure. Per-operative glove punctures are observed in almost 30% of all interventions, and a risk factor for postoperative infections. In the past, washing hands with antimicrobial soap and water (surgical scrub) was the norm, mainly with chlorhexidine or iodine. More recently, alcohol-based hand rub has been successfully introduced, showing greater effectiveness, less irritation to the hands, and requiring less time than washing hands. All products should have a remnant effect that delays microbial growth under the gloved hand. Some of the alcohol-based compounds are effective (as determined by the European Norm EN 12791) within 90 s whereas others require 3–5 min, similar to the scrub. The short procedure relies heavily on proper technique and timing, since lowering the exposure time to <90 s leads to significantly lower effectiveness of bacterial killing. Today, surgical hand hygiene should meet EN 12791 in Europe, or other standards, such as the US Food and Drug Administration tentative final monograph norm in the USA. It is best performed by using an alcohol-based hand rub, but a scrub with chlorhexidine-containing soap also meets these standards.
    The Journal of hospital infection 02/2013; 83(Suppl 1):S35–S39. DOI:10.1016/S0195-6701(13)60008-0 · 2.54 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we propose a distributed energy-saving strategy by dynamically switching-off wireless network interface card (NIC), and analyze its performance in fully connected networks. Simulation results show that in wireless LAN, when the network load is rather heavy, this scheme can save NIC's energy consumption by more than 60%, at the meanwhile, its delay and throughput performance is still similar to that of 02.11DCF protocol. This scheme does not need global synchronization and can be applied to other MAC protocols based on collision avoidance mechanism.
    Communication Technology Proceedings, 2003. ICCT 2003. International Conference on; 05/2003
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Operating room fires, though rare, can involve substantial morbidity and mortality. Surgical fires require an ignition source, oxidizer, and fuel. Ignition sources generally include lasers and electrocautery, oxidizer are usually oxygen, nitrous oxide, and ambient air, whereas fuels are classically surgical drapes, materials, and prepping agents. We experienced a patient who, during skin incision, sustained burns resulting from a fire in the operating room. Shortly after application of disinfectants and placement of the surgical drapes, the surgeon used the electrosurgical unit on the incision. In this case, the use of an alcohol-based disinfectant was the major contributing factor to the surgical fire. To avoid recurrence, if alcohol is used for skin prepping, it should be allowed to dry completely before draping.
    Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 01/2007; 53(5). DOI:10.4097/kjae.2007.53.5.676
Show more