Thread: Surgical Room Fires
02-28-2001, 11:40 AM #1FIRE549Firehouse.com Guest
Surgical Room Fires
What strategy and tactics would you use during a fire in a surgical operating room at a hospital? What would be your action plan?
Also, any suggestions on some resources to check on this topic?
02-28-2001, 09:50 PM #2AVF&R452Firehouse.com Guest
A few years back, I believe Fire Engineering Magazine had an article concerning Operating room fires. I recall several topics discussed were hazards involved with anesthetic gases, oxygen, electrical equipment such as cautery tools, flammable surgical drapes and a few other subjects.
I cannot seem to locate the article. You might find it in the archives on the FE website. Also look for NFPA standards. Maybe the hospital can provide specific info regarding the hazards you will find.
03-30-2001, 12:13 AM #3Lieut706Firehouse.com Guest
So many variables it's hard to know where to start. If its during working hours there is plenty of staff avialable and a lot has been done prior to your arrival. What is involved, equipment, storage, patients? Start off with your set response for that facility. Add that you are going to a location in which there are compressed gasses in tanks in each room, but they are on anesthesia machines which can be wheeled out of the room. Flammable anesthetic gases are no longer used in this country, but some surgical prep solutions are flammable, ie alcohol based. There is a large load of electrical equipment as well as piped oxygen in the walls if it gets to that. There are pipeline shut offs in the walls outside the individual rooms, but dont touch them until the clinical person incharge says its ok. OR and hospital staff are trained and drilled in a set fire response on regular intervals. A common one uses the term RACE for rescue- alarm-confine-extinguish. This is drilled into employees as part of the hospital accrediation. Luckily, the only fire I have experianced in my 20+ years in the OR was when the computer printer at the nurses station shorted and started smoking. We did light an endotracheal tube (PVC) for a demo once, flow 10 liters/min of 100% o2 thru it and burn a hole in it with a Co2 laser. Makes a rather smokey blowtorch effect. Contact your hospital, they should be happy to help you out, but be prepared to be asked to put on a program for them also, ususally handling small extinguishers etc. Hope it has been some help.
M. Elliott chief nurse anesthetist
w.w. backus hospital, norwich Ct.
03-30-2001, 03:55 PM #4FIRE549Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the information. Your right on about the hospital having a pre-incident plan. We did a walk through at the local medical center and they were very prepared. It was an excellent tour. They had written plans that all workers in the surgical operating area are trained on. We located the standpipes, gas and power shut offs. Of course getting to the area is maze like but as with all pre-planning you get an education on how to better respond to an incident.
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