An investigative report from an ABC affiliate in Chicago provides some harrowing accounts of fires that have occurred in the operating room (OR). One of the incidents highlighted in the story is of a firefighter who claims he was burned while having a catheter implanted in his chest.
These incidents, while few in number, exemplify potential dangers found in the OR. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that some or all aspects of the fire triangle--a heat source (electrosurgical units or lasers), fuel (flammable drapery or antiseptics), and oxygen--might be present during surgical procedures. In response, the FDA has developed the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative to educate health care professionals on the root cause of OR fires and highlights risk-reduction practices and safety procedures in line with provisions in NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®.
Read the NFPA Journal feature story highlighting the FDA initiative and how to develop a fire-risk assessment to safeguard hospital workers and patients. Also, check out the video of NFPA's Rich Bielen explaining how NFPA 99 mitigates these fire risks.