Operating room fire defined as a fire that occurs on or near patients under anesthesia care. It includes surgical fire, airway fire, and fire within the airway circuit. A surgical fire is defined as a fire that occurs on or in a patient. An airway fire is a specific type of surgical fire that occurs in a patient’s airway.
Airway fires may or may not include fire in the attached breathing circuit. Adverse outcomes associated with OT fires may include major or minor burns, inhalation injuries, infection, disfigurement, and death. Related adverse outcomes may include
Delay or cancellation of surgery
Additional hospital resource utilization
- Minimizing or avoiding an oxidizer-enriched atmosphere near the surgical site.
- Safe management of ignition sources and fuels.
- Equipment for managing a fire should be readily available in every procedural area where a fire triad consisting of fuel, oxygen, and ignition may exist.
- Formation of a safety code.
- Education of the OT personnel about the safe and proper use of electrical goods.
- Mock fire drill defined as a formal and periodic rehearsal of the OT team’s planned response to a fire.
Other hazards consist of the following.
Heavy operational theater workload, long working hours, night shift and sleep deprivation, fatigue from handling the patients, and stress on managing the very sick patients are the occupational hazards that can have an adverse effect on mental skill and reaction time, vigilance, and the interpersonal relationship among the OT personnel.
Exposure to severely traumatized patients, irreversible cardiac arrest of a patient may lead to postoperative stress syndrome to the caregivers of the OT.
Debris or the fumes and small particles produced using carbon dioxide laser ray can cause pulmonary lesions in experimental animals. HIV proviral demonstrated in the HIV-positive laser smoke. The release of waste anesthetic gases inside OT can cause decreased mental alertness and motor skill, tiredness, and slowing of reflexes of the OT personnel. Teratogenicity in OT team member and malignancy of reticuloendothelial system, liver, and kidney disorder have been reported. Ban the Use of flammable anesthetic gases such as
- NIOSH has recommended the upper limit of nitrous oxide as 25 ppm and for halogenated anesthetics as 2 ppm in the OT atmosphere.
- Studies have demonstrated that where scavenging systems are used, trace concentrations of waste anesthetic gases do not have an adverse effect on the personnel in operating rooms.
- The practice of yoga and training of the team for psychological stress release is recommended.