We are noticing that many organizations are not including special procedural areas as part of their proactive assessments for fire and burn risk for patients. To ensure that patients are protected from surgical fires, periodic evaluations need to be conducted to identify potential fire hazards that could be encountered during any surgery or procedure when performed in the presence of a potential ignition source. These risks should be addressed in the organization’s fire prevention and response plans and procedures that may include environmental precautions, risk assessments, staff training and drills. Do not forget to periodically review fire and burn risk in your special procedure areas such as Interventional Radiology, Endoscopy, and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab where you may be using laparoscopic light sources. These laparoscopic light sources can reach temperatures over 500 degrees Fahrenheit; a temperature that can cause severe burns to patients with direct contact or act as an ignition source if used in conjunction with fuel such as surgical drapes and alcohol-based skin prep and oxidizers such as nitrous or oxygen. Have you conducted a surgical fire drill or training in your special procedure rooms? Have you identified all areas in your organization where your patients may be at risk of a surgical fire? Have you included laparoscopes as part of your risk assessment?
Please contact Courtemanche and Associates for questions at 704-573-4535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.