When you think of the risks of surgery, you usually don’t think of “fire.” However, it happened with a man in Australia who suffered “fire” in the chest cavity after reporting a new case during emergency heart surgery.
While fires during surgery are rare – and chest fires are even more unusual – these cases “underline the continuing need for exercise and prevention strategies” during surgery, said study author Dr. Ruth Sheylor from the Department of Anesthesia and Pain at Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia, said in a statement. In particular, doctors must be aware that certain conditions during surgery – including the presence of high sources of oxygen and heat – can increase the risk of fire.
In a new case, 60 years need surgery to repair life-threatening tears in the aortic artery – the main artery in the chest that carries blood from the heart. The person had previously been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic lung disease.
During surgery, the doctor notices that the husband of the right lung is attached to the sternum or breastbone and some lung tissue is very elevated. These areas are known as “bulls” and are often caused by COPD.
The doctors tried to dodge the bullets when they opened the man’s breastbone to reach his chest. Apart from all treatments, surgeons pierce one of the highways and cause a leak in the human lungs.
In this case, the doctor must give someone a higher dose of extra oxygen to avoid breathing problems. Then in surgery, doctors use an electrocautery device that heats the tissue with electricity to protect blood vessels from bleeding.
A sudden spark of electrocauterine triggers a fire on surgical gauze. The fire quickly extinguished with a salt solution (salt water) without hurting the patient, Shailor said. Next to the fire, the rest of the man’s surgery went well and the doctors managed to recover the aortic tears.
The man’s case will be presented this week at the Congressional Evroanasteziya, the annual meeting of the European Society of Anesthesiology in Vienna, Austria.
Although rare, fires can occur during surgery – in fact, every year in the United States about 600 surgical fires occur, according to the American Food and Drug Administration.
There are three important “components” for surgical fire: the first is the presence of an “oxidizing agent”, including additional oxygen; The second source is an ignition source, such as an electrocautery device. and a third source is a source of fuel, including surgical gauze, mushrooms or curtains or even patient hair and skin, according to the FDA.
Most surgical fires occur when there is a high oxygen concentration in the environment – as is the case with these patients. Oxygen itself does not burn, but lowers the temperature at which fire can occur. In other words, things that are usually not burned can burn in the presence of high oxygen levels, according to the FDA.
It seems that chest cavity burns are very rare, with only seven previous cases reported in the medical literature.
These seven cases involve the presence of dry surgical material (such as mushrooms or gauze); Electrocautery device and increase in additional oxygen concentration; and all patients suffer from COPD or pre-existing lung disease, Shailor said.
“Surgeons and anesthesiologists must be aware that chest cavity fires can occur if the lungs are damaged or have air leaks for whatever reason and that patients with COPD are at increased risk,” Sheylor said.