Electrosurgical devices, lasers cited as most common igniters of operating room fires

October 6, 2009

While operating room fires can occur in a variety of clinical settings, it is the use of lasers and electrosurgical devices that are most likely to cause them. Those are the findings in new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA.

The study's authors discovered that among a group of 349 otolaryngologists, a quarter (25.2%) had at least witnessed an during the course of their career, and several had witnessed multiple fires (sometimes as many as five). A large majority of the fires (81%) occurred when supplemental oxygen was being used, and the most common sources of ignition were electrosurgical units (59%), lasers (32%), and light cords (7%).

In order to minimize the risk of fire, the authors conclude that surgeons, particularly otolaryngologists (because of the nature of the surgical procedures they perform), must familiarize themselves with the common scenarios in which fires might occur.

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology

Explore further: PC program may help teach new surgeons

Related Stories

PC program may help teach new surgeons

September 22, 2008

New computer game technology can help educate otolaryngology medical students who don't have any anatomical knowledge or surgical experience, according to new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology ...

Published ENT surgical innovations fall drastically

September 25, 2008

The number of cases of surgical innovation published in otolaryngic medical journals has fallen drastically since the late 1980s, leading researchers to question the impact of government oversight over surgery, according ...

New recommendations on hoarseness for primary care physicians

October 5, 2009

Primary care physicians face limitations when evaluating patients for voice problems including hoarseness (dyphonia), according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.