Home >  News >  August, 2013

Did Alcohol Prep Cause Surgical Fire?

A reminder of the importance of letting preps dry before surgery begins.

Published: August 15, 2013

A North Carolina hospital says it will no longer use alcohol-based skin preps during emergency surgeries after a patient suffered first- and second-degree burns to the neck and shoulders during what is described as a life-saving procedure in June.

A brief flash fire started when vapor from the skin prepping solution ignited, according to a spokeswoman at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinhurst, N.C., The OR team immediately extinguished the fire and the patient's injuries were not lasting. Most alcohol-based preps require 3 minutes or more of drying time.

Although hospital leaders determined the staff responded to the fire appropriately and successfully, the state division of health service regulation placed the hospital on "immediate jeopardy" for failing to follow established fire prevention policies and procedures.

The state reported the findings to CMS, which will likely conduct a full survey in the coming weeks. During the survey, the hospital's staff must demonstrate its compliance with the fire safety process improvement plan suggested by state surveyors.

Read more here.

Daniel Cook

Also in the News...

Senator Creates Firestorm With Nurses Playing Cards Comment
Suspect Logged Into Electronic Prescription Program as Ophthalmologist to Fraudulently Issue Opioid Scripts
Marijuana Users May Need Higher Doses of Sedatives Before Endoscopy
Brainlab Recalls Spine & Trauma 3D Navigation 1.0 Software Due to Display Inaccuracies
FDA Orders Withdrawal Of Transvaginal Surgical Mesh From Market
Lawsuit: When PACU Lights Dimmed, Doc Asked Wife to Hold Penlight on Her Husband's Leaking JP Drain
R.I. Smoke Evacuation Legislation Becomes Law

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

10 Tips for Safer Electrosurgery

Use these guidelines to keep both patients and staff safe.