To the Editor.—We are reporting the occurrence of an intraoperative fire that occurred during a routine tracheostomy performed under local anesthesia. The patient had an inoperable lingual carcinoma and was to undergo a tracheostomy to secure her airway. The patient wore neither perfume nor hairspray on the day of surgery. A malodorous smell that emanated from the oropharynx was attributed to the necrotic tumor.
After cleansing the anterior aspect of the neck with an alcohol pad, 1% lidocaine with 1:100000 epinephrine solution was infiltrated. The patient was then routinely prepared with betadine scrub and solution followed by draping with four cotton towels. A towel was placed loosely over the patient's face. A paper drape was placed over the patient's body and extended cranially along both sides of the head. A single cloth towel remained exposed at the superior aspect of the operative field. Supplemental oxygen was provided from the
ALEXANDER MANDYCH, SAMUEL MICKELSON, RANDALL AMIS. Operating Room Fire. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(12):1452. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870120098019