Burns from Oxygen Fires

Flash fires are often the result of a combination of an oxygen-rich environment and lasers or cauterization equipment. Not only does oxygen increase the risk of fire, but it also causes the fire to burn faster and hotter and make it more difficult to extinguish. During most surgeries, oxygen is delivered to the patient via a cannula, mask or tracheal intubation. When a fire erupts, the patient can sustain serious, disfiguring burns on the face, neck and upper chest. Or, even worse, the patient's airway can actually catch fire, which is often fatal.

Not all patients require oxygen for their surgical procedure, so each patient should be independently assessed. The level and delivery of the oxygen should also be evaluated. For instance, the risk of fire is less with intubation than with more open delivery methods such as a nose cannula or mask. In addition, not all patients require 100% oxygenation, and a lower level of oxygen will reduce the fire risk.

The good news is that roughly 96% of patients who are treated at a burn center will survive because our understanding of burn treatment has improved signficantly.  The bad news is that those patients will suffer through painful treatments that are often considered more painful than the original burn.  As such, pain management is a large part of burn treatment as the failure to properly manage the pain can lead to secondary issues including long-term anxiety, post-traumatic stress and, in some cases, delayed healing of the actual wounds. In addition, burn victims will often have significant scarring which often can result in physical disabilities and adjustment difficulties.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical fire, one of our experienced injury attorneys can help you determine which members of the surgical team are at fault and hold them accountable for the resulting injuries. In medical malpractice cases, experience is critical. John Day is board-certified in Medical Malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, and he also testified in front of the Tennessee Legislature on changes to the medical malpractice laws.  Best Lawyers has named him the Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year for Nashville - not once but twice. Finally, we employ a nurse on staff full-time to assist with medical questions and issues.

And, we know how to get results for our satisfied clients. Contact us today online or call one of our three Middle Tennessee locations.  Our attorneys are always willing to come to you if you cannot come to us for any reason.  Medical malpractice cases take time to evaluate - for example, it routinely takes 6 to 8 weeks for medical providers to send us your medical records.  So, please do not delay.  If you think you have a case, call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.  We handle all medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you and we advance all case expenses so you risk nothing to pursue your legal rights.

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