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How Do You Measure Up? - October 2013 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

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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OSE_1310_part3_Layout 1 10/7/13 10:33 AM Page 105 SAFETY Charles Cowles, MD Only You Can Prevent Surgical Fires 3 basic precautions will keep the flames from flying in your ORs. onsider this CONSTANT THREAT Fires can spark when elements of the fire triad combine, even during seemingly minor procedures. true-life case: An 18-year-old underwent minor surgery to have a mole removed from his cheek. Although he was in good health and had no comorbidities, the anesthesia provider opted to give supplemental oxygen with a nasal cannula. As soon as the surgeon activated an electrocautery device to stop bleeding at the operative site, a fire ignited that severely burned the patient. The young man arrived for a minor procedure and exited disfigured, requiring extensive reconstructive surgery. The tragedy of it all: This OR fire could have been prevented if the surgical team had adhered to these basic protocols. C Communicate clearly A review of OR fire claims shows most are caused by a lack of communication among the OR team. Surgeons are unaware of how oxidizers are being administered by anesthesia providers, while anesthesia providers don't anticipate when surgeons are going to use ignition sources. All members of the surgical team must remain in constant communication when surgical energies are employed. Clear communication is also especially important during seemingly minor proce- 1 O C T O B E R 2013 | O U T PAT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E 1 0 5

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