Operating room fires are rare, but when they occur, they have potentially devastating and deadly consequences. Coblation (ArthroCare ENT, Austin, TX) technology has become popular for many otolaryngology procedures and seems to have the advantage of reducing fire risk. Our objective was to test the Coblator II on various flammable materials commonly found and used in the operating room. We placed the active Coblator II at the highest settings, in direct contact with flammable operating room equipment and materials, and made the environment even more volatile by introducing oxygen into the testing environment. We found that the Coblator II did not produce fire when in contact with any of the materials. This finding is very important in otolaryngology because airway procedures often take place in environments with high concentrations of oxygen. Our testing shows that the Coblator II is safe to use in these types of environments.
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