Hot Topic! New Recommendations for Surgical Fire Prevention and Management

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Speaker: Mark E. Bruley, BS, EIT  


Surgical fires, while relatively infrequent (~500 per year), can be disastrous or fatal, and vigilance by the surgical team is the best defense. This session will present the most-up-to-date information on surgical fire prevention and management for all settings where operative and invasive procedures occur, including ambulatory surgery centers, hospital surgical suites, procedural suites, and office settings. Practice advisories, clinical recommendations, and recent publications by the Joint Commission, ASA, AORN, PA Patient Safety Authority, NY Dept of Health, and ECRI Institute will be presented.  


  • Identify surgical devices, materials, and fluids that can burn and how they are ignited. 
  • Discuss the hazards of oxidizer-enriched atmospheres. 
  • Describe the new clinical recommendations on how to minimize the chance of a surgical fire. 
  • Discuss the techniques used to extinguish a fire involving a patient. 
  • Identify the appropriate OR locations and types of fire extinguishers 
  • Discuss why fire blankets are NOT appropriate for surgical fires or ORs. 

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