Following a reported death, the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) commissioned the Health and Safety Executive to undertake fire hazard testing with white soft paraffin on a variety of bandages, dressings and clothing. The results showed the ability to reproduce the fire hazard in a controlled environment. This risk was not previously well recognised.
This document is accompanied by:
- general advice and advice for hospital inpatients
- supporting information for healthcare staff including background and findings
- posters in English and Welsh
- Health and Safety Laboratory report FS/06/12 ‘Fire hazards associated with contamination of dressings and clothing by paraffin based ointments’
- examples of products containing paraffin
- warning / hazard stickers for products
- a patient safety video
- leaflets in English and Welsh.
Although the deadline for actions has passed, this guidance remains best practice. It should be followed to prevent future patient safety incidents.