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Routine Surgery Turns into Serious Burn Injuries for Patient

Posted on December 23, 2011 to

Paulette Chapman

What would you do if you went in for routine surgery and when you awoke, you had severe burn injuries to your face and neck? It happened to a Florida woman and now her family wants answers as to how a fire broke out in the operating room.

As initially reported at msnbc.msn.com, the 29-year-old woman was supposed to have some cysts removed from her head, which were causing headaches. It was a routine procedure that went horribly wrong when a fire broke out in the operating room. She is now in the University of South Alabama Burn Unit recovering from burns to her neck and face.

At this point, doctors and hospital staff are not saying what caused the fire. However, one medical expert is not so surprised at the occurrence of surgical fires. With all the electricity, oxygen, lasers and alcohol present in an operating room, there is all the necessary ingredients for a fire, said one doctor. In fact, there are over 650 operating room fires each year in the United States.

So prevalent are surgical fires, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a new initiative to prepare hospital staff in dealing with fires in the operating room. Some victims of surgical fires suffer physical and emotional scarring, while others die from burns and smoke inhalation.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

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Approved by attorney Paulette Chapman