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Preventing Operating Room Fire: An Alternate Approach

Section Editor(s): Shafer, Steven L.Albataineh, Jehad MD; Salem, Yasser MD; Jaffar, Muhammad MD

doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000239046.68083.05
Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements

Department of Anesthesiology; College of Medicine; University of Arkansas Medical Science Center; Little Rock, AR;

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To the Editor:

Lampotang et al. (1) offer suggestions for delivering <100% oxygen to reduce the risk of fire. We have developed two different approaches to this problem. The first approach uses an “air bar” with multiple openings which delivers air from an auxiliary air supply. Oxygen is supplied via nasal cannulae at a minimally needed flow. The bar is placed underneath the drapes, preventing accumulation of carbon dioxide and slightly elevating the drapes off the patient's face. The second approach also uses a nasal cannula to deliver oxygen. However, we use the circuit on the anesthesia machine to deliver air at 10–15 L/minute under the drapes.

Both approaches permit delivery of supplemental oxygen directly to the patient, without causing an accumulation of oxygen or carbon dioxide under the drapes. Ventilation can be monitored via capnometry through a dedicated sampling line in the nasal cannula. Supporting the drapes off the face of the patient increases air circulation and patient comfort.

Jehad Albataineh, MD

Yasser Salem, MD

Muhammad Jaffar, MD

Department of Anesthesiology

College of Medicine

University of Arkansas Medical Science Center

Little Rock, AR

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1. Lampotang S, Gravenstein N, Paulus D, Gravenstein D. Reducing the incidence of surgical fires: supplying nasal cannulae with sub-100% O2 gas mixtures from anesthesia machines. Anesth Analg 2005; 101:1407–12.
© 2006 International Anesthesia Research Society