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Woman's face catches on fire during surgery [View All]

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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 02:30 PM
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Woman's face catches on fire during surgery
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It was supposed to be a routine outpatient surgery to remove some growths from Kim Grices head. But something went horribly wrong during the Tuesday morning procedure and a flash fire seared Grices face and neck.

The 29-year-old mother of three was rushed by helicopter to the University of South Alabama Burn Unit with burns to her face and neck.

What happened to Kim Grice was not an isolated incident. Experts estimate that each year 650 fires flare up in operating rooms around the country. Some patients recover with scars and emotional damage. Some die from burns and smoke inhalation.

These days more and more operations use electro-cautery devices and lasers. Those devices are what Dr. David Cowles calls the trifecta of elements oxygen, alcohol prep and an ignition source - that lead to flash fires in the OR.

The FDA launched a new initiative to prevent surgical fires, noting that though these are rare events, they are also highly preventable. The agency convened a special workshop to look for ways to stop fires from ever happening and to give medical personnel the tools and knowledge needed to deal with a fire if one occurs.

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