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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: 3.42). 02/2006; 102(1):172-4. DOI: 10.1213/01.ane.0000183641.09008.f2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

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