Friday, February 20, 2009

Efforts to Reduce Surgical Burns to Patients

Patient-safety groups and medical specialty organizations are increasing efforts to raise awareness of risks and provide guidelines for prevention of surgical burn injuries to patients. Hospitals are conducting operating-room fire drills on fighting fires that start on the drapes, gowns or skin of surgical patients and extinguishing flames inside patients' airway or tracheal tubes. Training programs are being developed to educate staff on the dangers of burns from medical equipment and procedures.

Data from studies conducted in Pennsylvania suggest there are 650 surgical fires in hospitals annually in the U.S., and that there may be three to four times as many "near miss" incidents, in which fires begin smoldering but are quickly extinguished. Read more.

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