Articles  |   May 2015
ACE Question
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Education / CPD / Articles
Articles   |   May 2015
ACE Question
ASA Monitor 05 2015, Vol.79, 53.
ASA Monitor 05 2015, Vol.79, 53.
Which statement about fire safety in the operating room is most likely true?
There are approximately 100 operating room fires each year in the United States. Three conditions must be satisfied for a fire to occur: 1) there must be a source of heat; 2) the heat must be sufficient to ignite a flammable substance (fuel); 3) an oxidizer is required to maintain the fire.
Common sources of heat in operating rooms include electrosurgical units (ESU or electrocautery) and lasers. Drapes, tracheal tubes, oxygen masks, gel-pads, and hair may serve as fuel. Oxygen is the most common oxidizer involved in fires, but nitrous oxide is also flammable. The bowel may contain enough hydrogen and methane to result in a fire if sufficient heat is provided.
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