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Surgical Fires

Surgical fires are rare. Among the approximately 72 million inpatient and ambulatory surgical procedures done annually in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 550 to 650 fires occur. That is, every year, there is (at most) one fire per ten thousand surgeries.

Such fires, however, can be devastating, causing serious injuries and even death. Up to 5% of surgical fires do result in serious harm to the patient.

This course will teach you how to:

  • Prevent surgical fires
  • Respond to surgical fires

You will learn about:

  • The fire triangle and how it relates to surgical fires
  • Reducing the risk of surgical fires by making certain that the fire triangle is not completed
  • How to respond to surgical fires

Courseware Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the three components of the fire triangle that can impact patient safety in a surgical setting.
  • List sources of heat, fuel, and oxygen in the surgical setting that could endanger patients.
  • Differentiate members of the surgical team with their corresponding element of the fire triangle and their effect on fire safety.
  • Describe strategies for controlling heat, fuel, and oxygen in the surgical setting.
  • Explain how to respond to a fire in a surgical setting.