Recently the Today Show on NBC highlighted a young woman who was undergoing a simple surgical procedure to remove a mole from her face. During the course of the surgery a flash fire occurred which led to second degree burns over her face and mouth leaving her permanently scarred and disfigured. Most people never even consider the risk of a fire when they undergo surgery. However, there has been an increase in the rate of surgical fires. In recognition of the increased incidence of surgical fires, the FDA issued a new initiative to help prevent their occurrence. Surgical fires occur when oxygen, alcohol prep and an ignition device come together. This triad is occurring more frequently due to increased use of lasers and electrocautery devices. It is recommended that patients discuss the risk of fire with their doctors before the operation. These flash fires are preventable. The operating room staff needs to be aware of the risks and the circumstances under which these fires can occur. When they do occur the outcome can led to devastating and permanent injuries, even death, resulting in possible medical malpractice. For more information on operating room surgical fires see: www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/SafeUseInitiative/PreventingSurgicalFires/UCM20026140.htm
If you or your loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in the operating room contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Lamkin, Van Eman, Trimble & Dougherty, LLC.