While these cases are obviously very rare, they hope to spread awareness of the phenomenon, especially given the risk factors common to each one. Amazingly, the doctors were able to put out the fire and complete the surgery with no other complications.
Physicians from the Austin Health hospital in Melbourne recounted how a routine surgery involving an Aussie man became even more life-threatening when surgical instruments triggered a fire in the oxygen-enriched environment of the operating room.
The unusual case was reported by the doctors this weekend at the Euroanaesthesia Congress, the annual convention of the European Society of Anaesthesiology.
In August 2018, a 60-year-old man presented for emergency fix of an ascending aortic dissection-a tear in the inner layer of the aorta wall in the chest. He was immediately prepared for emergency heart surgery to fix the damage.More news: Miley Cyrus Reminds Fans About The Meaning Of Consent After Being Groped
The patient's right lung suffered a puncture where it was overinflated due to the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a progressive lung disease. This severely complicated the medical procedure for the doctors.
In order to reach his heart, the doctors had to crack open his sternum-the bone smack in the middle of our chest.
But during the surgery, a large blister in one of the man's lung, related to the COPD, got punctured, releasing fluid into his chest cavity.
Doctors anxious that the man would suffer a respiratory attack, and made a decision to give him more anesthesia, which resulted in his receiving 100 percent oxygen.More news: US soy exporters struggle with huge China exports
Part of the surgery required the use of electrocautery, a device that uses heat to burn away or cut through tissue.
All of the previous cases involved a dry surgical pack being ignited in much the same manner as happen in the case of this operation, with lung disease lesions causing oxygen to flow amply over an electrode. The medics responded by upping the gases used in the operation, including oxygen. It sparked, igniting a dry surgical pack that had been placed near the man's chest cavity and that led to a flash fire.
For more on fire during surgery, visit the Anesthesia Quality Institute.
A man caught fire during an operation to fix his heart, surgeons revealed in a weird case study.More news: Set destroyed, crew injured as explosions rock James Bond set
That's when a flash fire broke out. No injuries were reported during these events. Though their case is the first, according to their account, to involve this particular kind of surgery. "Most people are aware of how risky these three elements combined can be", said the report.