Man's chest catches fire during heart surgery
June 3, 2019 | 13 comments
Fortunately the fire in this case did not cause any injury. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Surgeons managed to accidentally set a man's chest cavity on fire during an operation in Australia.
The freak accident involved a 60-year-old man who had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and needed emergency surgery for a tear in his aortic artery.
During the procedure, doctors accidentally punctured an area of inflated lung tissue, causing air to leak out and requiring them to give the patient a larger amount of supplemental oxygen.
This, coupled with the use of an electrocautery device, managed to set the surgical gauze on fire.
Fortunately the blaze was extinguished pretty much straight away and the man was not injured. The surgical procedure itself continued as planned and the aortic artery was successfully repaired.
Even so, the case has lead to a review of fire training and fire prevention strategies during surgery.
"Surgeons and anaesthetists need to be aware that fires can occur in the chest cavity if a lung is damaged or there is an air leak for any reason, and that patients with COPD are at increased risk," said study lead author Dr. Ruth Shaylor of the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia.
Source: Live Science
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