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Fire in the OR!

Operating room (OR) fire risk is graded on a point scale from zero to three. One point is assigned for each of the following: surgery above the lower sternum, supplemental oxygen delivery, and use of an ignition source. As a result, ophthalmic – particularly oculoplastic – surgery is classed as having the highest possible OR fire risk. An Editorial in the journal Ophthalmology (1) urges you to be safe – and advises you conduct periodic fire drills, and to administer medical air instead of oxygen whenever possible. If an anesthesiologist is present, let them know before activating lasers or electrocautery devices, and turn off and store ignition sources when you’re not using them!

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  1. M.W. Stewart, G.B. Bartley, “Fires in the operating room”,Ophthalmology, Article in Press. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.08.049;
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