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February 9, 2022

Improving Preoperative Timeouts for Better Surgical Fire Readiness

Author Affiliations
  • 1UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
JAMA Surg. 2022;157(4):291-292. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.7551

Operating room (OR) fires are rare but, when they occur, can have devastating outcomes. From a fire perspective, the OR is a ticking time bomb. Drapes and gowns are easily ignited, flammable solvents such as alcohol are used, and high concentrations of oxygen may be present in the air.1 If a fire starts in enclosed OR spaces, it spreads at an explosive rate and can quickly fill the room with smoke, making it impossible for the OR personnel to remain in the room for more than a few seconds.

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