Fatal inhalation injury caused by airway fire during tracheostomy

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 2.32). 05/2007; 51(4):509-13. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2007.01280.x
Source: PubMed


A 45-year-old man needed emergency tracheostomy and cranioplasty. He was intubated with a cuffed oral polyvinylchloride endotracheal tube and ventilated with 100% oxygen before tracheal incision. During opening of the trachea using diathermy, a popping sound was heard and flames originating from the tracheal incision were observed. The endotracheal tube was charred and its lumen had melted. Immediately after the incident, bronchofibroscopic examination revealed inhalation injury. After remaining for 8 weeks in hospital, the patient was transferred to a health care centre, where he was found dead in his bed.

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