Fires on the operating field are rare events that should never happen, but do. They are dangerous not only to the patient but to the operating room (OR) team members as well. Surgical fires remain a significant enough risk to justify use of a Fire Risk Assessment Score and adherence to the recommendations of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Operating Room Fires and those of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.
Here, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority shares key data and statistics, educational tools, multimedia and related links on surgical fires.
In 2012, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority published an analysis of surgical fires reported through its database for the primary purpose of determining whether surgical fires continued to be a problem. In 2018, the Authority published an update, including analysis of events reported from 1 July 2011 through to 30 June 2016.
The model suggests a 71% decrease in the patient risk of surgical fires from 2005 to 2016. The analysts noted that in 2005, there was about one surgical fire per month in Pennsylvania, and, if the downward trend continues, the rate will be only one surgical fire per year in 2032.