Home >  News >  May, 2016

OR Fire Reveals N.Y.C. Hospital's Safety Deficit

Lack of prevention plan was "immediate jeopardy situation."

Published: May 3, 2016

A surgical fire PLAN TO PREVENT Is fire safety part of your pre-op time outs?

A New York City hospital was cited by the state for its apparent failure to implement an OR fire prevention plan, according to an article in the New York Post.

NYU Langone Medical Center showed "no evidence of an immediate plan to prevent the recurrence of fire injury to patients undergoing surgery," said a New York State Department of Health investigation, which found flawed communications between a surgeon and an anesthesiologist to blame for a December 2014 flash fire that burned a patient.

The state visited NYU Langone shortly after the fire and declared an "immediate jeopardy situation" due to what it saw as a lapse in compliance with current standards of safety practices.

For example, surgical personnel who'd worked the case "gave no details of any strategies they discussed or actions they would implement to prevent the occurrence of an actual fire," state officials wrote.

The facts of the incident were largely unavailable, as the investigation report provided to the Post was heavily censored. But the report indicated that the patient was receiving mask oxygen during the surgery, and that the anesthesiologist didn't know that the surgeon planned to use the instrument that sparked the flare-up near it.

NYU Langone took action within hours of the "immediate jeopardy" declaration, the state noted, including scheduling staff training and requiring alternative methods of oxygen delivery in high fire risk cases. The center did not respond to a request for comment.

David Bernard


Also in the News...

Study: C. Diff Transmission "Might Be More Likely to Occur" in Surgical Centers
Chicago Hospital Sues Leapfrog for Defamation Over Low Patient Safety Grade
Recall: Midazolam Syringes in Blister Packs Contain Syringes of Ondansetron
Study: Overlapping Surgeries Are Safe for Patients
Coughing Fit During Cataract Surgery Costs Patient Her Vision in 1 Eye; Docs Shell Out $1.35M
Mölnlycke Sues Smith & Nephew Over 'False and Deceptive' Claims About Its Wound Dressings
Lawsuit Over Left-Behind Ligating Clip Can Proceed

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Lessons From 3 Wrong-Site Surgeries

Focus on what really happened, not what's supposed to happen.

Strategies to Prevent Retained Objects

What you can do to ensure that nothing's left behind.

Thinking of Buying ... Medication Safety Products and Devices

It's time to stop blaming, and start implementing available solutions.