The effect of intraoral suction on oxygen-enriched surgical environments: A mechanism for reducing the risk of surgical fires

Andrea M. Van Cleave, James E. Jones, James D. McGlothlin, Mark A. Saxen, Brian J. Sanders, Laquia A. Vinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, a mechanical model was applied in order to replicate potential surgical fire conditions in an oxygen-enriched environment with and without high-volume suction typical for dental surgical applications. During 41 trials, 3 combustion events were measured: an audible pop, a visible flash of light, and full ignition. In at least 11 of 21 trials without suction, all 3 conditions were observed, sometimes with an extent of fire that required early termination of the experimental trial. By contrast, in 18 of 20 with-suction trials, ignition did not occur at all, and in the 2 cases where ignition did occur, the fire was qualitatively a much smaller, candle-like flame. Statistically comparing these 3 combustion events in the no-suction versus with-suction trials, ignition (P = .0005), audible pop (P = .0211), and flash (P = .0092) were all significantly more likely in the no-suction condition. These results suggest a possible significant and new element to be added to existing surgical fire safety protocols toward making surgical fires the "never-events" they should be.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesia progress
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • High-volume suction
  • Oxygen-enriched environments
  • Surgical fires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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