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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 109-111

Airway fires during surgery: Management and prevention

1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Patel Hospital and Post Graduate Institute, Karachi, Pakistan
2 Department of Otolaryngology, Patel Hospital and Post Graduate Institute, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Navaid Akhtar
Department of Anaesthesiology, Pain Management, Patel Hospital and Post Graduate Institute, Karachi 75300
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.175710

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Airway fires pose a serious risk to surgical patients. Fires during surgery have been reported for many years with flammable anesthetic agents being the main culprits in the past. Association of airway fires with laser surgery is well-recognized, but there are reports of endotracheal tube fires ignited by electrocautery during pharyngeal surgery or tracheostomy or both. This uncommon complication has potentially grave consequences. While airway fires are relatively uncommon occurrences, they are very serious and can often be fatal. Success in preventing such events requires a thorough understanding of the components leading to a fire (fuel, oxidizer, and ignition source), as well as good communication between all members present to appropriately manage the fire and ensure patient safety. We present a case of fire in the airway during routine adenotonsillectomy. We will review the causes, preventive measures, and brief management for airway fires.

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