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Doctors ignite patient during heart operation
A picture from the US anaesthesia patient safety foundation. Photo: APSF

Doctors ignite patient during heart operation

Published: 14 Jan 2014 10:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Jan 2014 10:28 GMT+01:00

After spraying the patient with surgical alcohol to disinfect an open would, they then began to use an electrical scalpel, which unfortunately ignited the fluid. 
 
"We are talking about a rare but very unfortunate incident,"  said Dr Rolf Busund, clinical manager at the University Hospital of Northern Norway, where the operation took place. "This event is a clear reminder that although our procedures are very good, such things still happen." 
 
He said that ignition was a known risk when using electrical scalpels in conjunction with disinfectants. 
 
"During my 25 to 26 years at the hospital, I've never heard of a similar incident. However, the literature says that the use of disinfectants with diathermy can cause ignition. Last year there were some 100 instances of this in the United States." 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

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