Surgical Fires have reduced from an estimated 550-650 (Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System, September 2008) to 90-100 fires per year.
This reduction stems from; more effective education on prevention, better tools available (e.g., Fire Risk Assessments), new surgical fire response requirements per CMS, and stronger focus during licensure and accreditation surveys.
With the adoption of the 2012 Edition of NFPA 99, “Training is provided to new OR personnel
(including surgeons), continuing education is provided… and procedures are reviewed annually.”
– CMS K933 and NFPA 99-15.13
These programs are required to include:
This will include a survey of the surgical areas with customized plans outlining roles and responsibilities of the surgical team and leadership during a fire or evacuation. Interviews on current practices for prevention of surgical fires will take place at this time.
Training under actual fire conditions has proven to be the most effective approach in preparing staff and reducing the chance for the loss of life in a real fire. The training will focus on:
What is causing surgical fires and how do we prevent them?
What are the steps you should take to suppress airway, oral cavity, surgical site, and drape fires?
What are the roles of the surgical team during a fire?
How do you break down equipment and evacuate if fire or smoke conditions force you from the OR?
These exercises will assist staff in becoming more familiar with their roles in fire suppression and evacuation. Staff will drill on who has responsibility for the patient, medical gas shut-offs, etc. This program will involve all staff in performing realistic fire suppression on a mock patient.