Journal Logo

LETTERS

Operating Room Fires

Pollock, Harlan M.D.

Author Information
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: January 2009 - Volume 123 - Issue 1 - p 431
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31817c6b90
  • Free

Sir:

I applaud the authors' goal of patient safety in the article entitled “Operating Room Fires: Optimizing Safety.”1 However, I believe a different approach is preferable, simple, and safe. The use of supplemental oxygen for facial surgery significantly adds to the risk of operating room fires, compromises the sterile field, and at a minimum adds an additional obstacle in the surgical field. It is my 40-year experience with conscious sedation/local anesthesia that the use of supplemental oxygen is unnecessary. The key, of course, is that anesthesia is provided by the local infiltration and/or nerve block, not by the depth of the intravenous sedation. Respirations and airway are easy to maintain, without interference with the surgical procedure and without jeopardizing patient safety. Patent airway and respiratory status is readily monitored clinically, and the pulse oximeter provides objective data on the level of oxygenation. The best way to avoid operating room fires related to the use of supplemental oxygen, especially for facial surgery, is avoid its use. If room air is adequate for awake patients, then it should be adequate for a patient under true conscious sedation, which the authors have appropriately described as the “patient maintaining spontaneous respirations.”

Harlan Pollock, M.D.

8305 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 210

Dallas, Texas 75231

hp@drpollock.com

REFERENCE

1. Meneghetti SC, Morgan MM, Fritz J, Borkowski RG, Djohan R, Zins JE. Operating room fires: Optimizing safety. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007;120:1701–1708.

Section Description

GUIDELINES

Letters to the Editor, discussing material recently published in the Journal, are welcome. They will have the best chance of acceptance if they are received within 8 weeks of an article’s publication. Letters to the Editor may be published with a response from the authors of the article being discussed. Discussions beyond the initial letter and response will not be published. Letters submitted pertaining to published Discussions of articles will not be printed. Letters to the Editor are not usually peer reviewed, but the Journal may invite replies from the authors of the original publication. All Letters are published at the discretion of the Editor.

Authors will be listed in the order in which they appear in the submission. Letters should be submitted electronically via PRS’ enkwell, at www.editorialmanager.com/prs/.

We reserve the right to edit Letters to meet requirements of space and format. Any financial interests relevant to the content of the correspondence must be disclosed. Submission of a Letter constitutes permission for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and its licensees and asignees to publish it in the Journal and in any other form or medium.

The views, opinions, and conclusions expressed in the Letters to the Editor represent the personal opinions of the individual writers and not those of the publisher, the Editorial Board, or the sponsors of the Journal. Any stated views, opinions, and conclusions do not reflect the policy of any of the sponsoring organizations or of the institutions with which the writer is affiliated, and the publisher, the Editorial Board, and the sponsoring organizations assume no responsibility for the content of such correspondence.

©2009American Society of Plastic Surgeons