Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Surgical Fires In The Operating Room

Today while working out at the local YMCA I saw a report on The Today Show about the problem of patients catching fire during routine operations. The crowd gathering around the TV was shocked to learn that this can happen. Actually, it has been occurring for quite some time, as I have written about here and here.

It even happens at world renowned institutions like The Cleveland Clinic. In fact, it is estimated that 500-600 surgical fires are reported every year. Since not all states are required to report surgical fires, the number might be higher.

Every hospital should have training protocols in place to educate the surgical team on how to prevent these fires, because they are absolutely preventable. So ask your surgeon if he or she has experienced any fires during surgery, and also ask about any training the staff has undergone. It's a reasonable question that any patient deserves an answer to before going under anesthesia...

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