Outpatient Surgery Magazine

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Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://magazine.outpatientsurgery.net/i/1153553

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Page 8 of 116

was not discontinued when the surgeon activated the laser to Ms. Tucker's eyelids. Ms. Tucker suffered second- and third-degree facial burns. Flames burned her nostrils and nasopharynx. She filed a lawsuit, in which she claimed the fire made it difficult for her to reach certain notes. "They caught the laser on fire with the oxygen," said Ms. Tucker in a release. "The only thing I remember hearing is, 'Get the ambulance, we've got a fire.' It was the worst thing. I was just saying, 'God, why me?'" Dr. Sperring says it's worth noting the dangers of airway fires with lasers when you don't have a closed airway. "Any source of ignition in an airway that's not a closed circuit is a no-no," he says. "You don't want a free-flowing source of oxygen and raised oxygen levels around a source of ignition." As a reminder when you're using an open gas delivery device (face mask or nasal cannula, for example), Dr. Sperring cites guidelines from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) that state that before activating an ignition source around the face, head or neck, the surgeon should give the anesthesia provider adequate notice that he is about to activate the ignition source. The anesthesia provider should then stop the delivery of supplemen- tal oxygen — or reduce the delivered oxygen concentration to the minimum required to avoid hypoxia — and wait a few minutes after reducing the oxidizer-enriched atmosphere before approving the acti- vation of the ignition source, per the ASA guidelines. And one thing more. "If I were educating people about airway fires," says Dr. Sperring, "I would use this photo to tell them this is what not to do." Spoken like an anesthesiologist who can sense danger before it hap- pens. OSM A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 9

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