Fires During Surgery
Most patients would never dream they are at risk for serious burns during an operation. But, the Wall Street Journal has estimated there are approximately 650 fires in the operating each year. The burns themselves can range from minor to fatal. Or, as the surgical team strives to manage the fire, the chaos can create complications for the original surgical procedure. Either way, the patient can suffer catastrophic effects.
Surgical fires can occur when the three elements of the fire triangle are present:
Fuel: This can be any type of flammable object including the surgical drapes, surgical prep agents such as alcohol or ointments, and even the patient's hair and skin.
Heat: Lasers, electrocautery equipment, fiber-optic lights can all be heat sources.
Oxidizer: Gases used during surgery such as oxygen, nitrous oxide and even room air.
Of course, burns are some of the most painful and disfiguring of injuries. Treatment can require debridement of wounds, assistance with breathing such as an endotracheal tube, a feeding tube, treatment of eschars (burn scabs), skin grafts and, ultimately, plastic surgery to help improve the appearance of a burn injury.
According to the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, most if not all fires in the operating room are preventable. In fact, the Foundation has created a video that outlines how to prevent and manage fires that occur in the operating room. So, if you or a loved one has been the victim of a fire during surgery, you need one of our award-winning injury lawyers to investigate the potential merits of claim against one or more members of the surgical team or possibly a medical equipment manufacturer.
Tennessee's medical malpractice law is more complicated than ever so select your lawyer carefully. Not only is John Day board-certified in Medical Malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, but he also testified in front of the Tennessee Legislature on changes to the medical malpractice laws, and he has been recognized twice by Best Lawyers as the Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year for Nashville. Finally, to ensure that all medical questions and issues are fully addressed, we have a nurse on staff full-time.
A thorough investigation of a medical malpractice case takes time. For example, it regularly takes eight weeks simply to receive the relevant medical records, so do not delay. Contact one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys who will thoroughly review your case with you and advise you of your rights. Our initial consultation is free and without obligation. We advance all case expenses and we do not get paid unless we recover money for you. We have three convenient Middle Tennessee locations. And as always, if you cannot come to us for any reason, we will gladly come to you.
For more information on different types of burns and fires in the operating room, click on the links above.