Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Running on Empty - Outpatient Surgery Magazine - August 2019

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

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8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 W hat do you see in this photo- graph: surgical smoke, right? This photo accompa- nied an article in last month's issue about mandatory smoke evacuation legislation. But a reader wrote to let us know he saw flames of fire, not rings of smoke. Where we saw plume, he saw doom. "I was shocked to see the source of ignition that close to a nasal cannula presumably supplying oxygen to a patient," says anesthesiologist Steven J. Sperring, MD, medical director of the Centennial Surgery Center in Nashville, Tenn. "This is a potential- ly disastrous situation and one which would be difficult to defend in the case of a surgical airway fire." We can only hope that the cannula wasn't delivering oxygen when this picture was taken. As Dr. Sperring said, it would literally be like playing with fire for oxygen to flow freely while, just a few centime- ters away, the Bovie was activated. "I'm extremely wary of a source of ignition so close to an oxygen source," he says when we spoke by phone. Dr. Sperring might be more sensitive than most to the dangers of sur- gical fires. In 2008, a year before Dr. Sperring's arrival at Centennial, records show that iconic country music singer Tanya Tucker suffered an airway fire while undergoing a facial peel with laser at the surgery center. Apparently, the oxygen, a fire hazard in the presence of lasers, A Reminder About Surgical Airway Fires Is a source of ignition hidden in this photograph of smoke inhalation? Editor's Page Dan O'Connor • FLINTING WITH DISASTER Is this nasal cannula delivering oxygen to the patient while the Bovie is activated?

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