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October 1980

Indirect Ignition of the Endotracheal Tube During Carbon Dioxide Laser Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Anesthesiology (Dr Hirshman) and Otolaryngology (Dr Smith), University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1980;106(10):639-641. doi:10.1001/archotol.1980.00790340047012

• We report here a case of an endotracheal tube fire occurring during carbon dioxide (CO2) laser surgery in the path of gases that support combustion. The tube was thought to be ignited by flaming tissue in close proximity to the tip and not directly by the laser. Tubes 1 cm away from an object repeatedly hit by the laser can easily be ignited indirectly. Aluminum-tape wrapping does not prevent this complication. We recommend caution when using the CO2 laser in the path of combustible gases in the presence of flammable objects.

(Arch Otolaryngol 106:639-641, 1980)

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