Imagine, there is a 60-year-old patient lying on a surgical bed. Doctors opened his chest to patch a deadly tear that appeared on the aorta near the heart. But in the process of surgery, a fire broke out in the patient's chest opened wide.
The doctors were a little confused, but they managed to extinguish the fire and continue the operation until it was successful. The patient then recovered and did not have any complications.
It's amazing, because it's not just a fantasy. This story is completely real and has been reported by doctors at an annual European Anesthesia Association scientific conference.
But you may ask: What caused the fire to burn inside the patient's chest?
Strange: The fire broke out in the patient's chest
According to doctors' reports, the patient is a 60-year-old Australian man. He had a condition called progressive aortic dissection, which caused a huge risk of death if it broke the aorta into the blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
As soon as the condition was discovered, the patient was prescribed surgery to patch the tear. Doctors who have prevented surgery will be quite difficult, because in addition, this man also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
To find the angle of action on the artery near his heart, doctors had to open the sternum from the collarbone in the middle of the chest. But his right lung lobe is stuck in the sternum, with damaged lung tissue called bullae causing a problem.
Bullae are vesicles filled with air, often forming in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. When the doctors were as careful as possible to pull the lungs out of the sternum, they had unfortunately punctured one of these blisters, causing a major air leak.
To make sure that the patient will not suffer from respiratory failure (when the lungs are filled with fluid, causing him to drown right on the operating table), the doctors pump more than anesthetic with a 100% oxygen flow.
As you might have guessed, the fire in the patient's chest exploded here, the moment the ventilator was switched to pure oxygen mode.
Electric burners and pure oxygen flow cause flames
Part of the surgery requires doctors to use an electric burners, a device that uses heat to burn and close the wound mouth. There is also a dry surgical package near the man's chest, which is a package used to carry sterilized surgical equipment.
When sparks from electric combustion machines caught the dry surgical package, plus the flow of oxygen-rich air leaking around the man's lungs, the fire flared up inside his chest.
Immediately recognizing the problem, the doctors quickly extinguished the fire. Amazingly, this incident did not cause any damage to the patient. After that, the doctors carried out the surgery and finished it perfectly, repairing the artery success for the man.
Realizing that this situation was an experience worth keeping up and warning to colleagues, doctors wrote a report about it. They also searched for similar cases recorded in previous literature.
Turns out, these doctors were not the first people to accidentally burn their patient's chest. In the past, there were also six other surgeries in which the patient's chest cavity exploded.
It is worth noting that all are related to dry surgery packages, increased oxygen levels from ventilators, electrical burners and patients with COPD or another lung disease.
All 7 of these cases were fortunate to be treated without leaving any injuries to patients or doctors.
At least 7 similar cases occurred in the past, when the patient's chest burned
Although relatively rare, doctors warn their peers to be careful with fires that may occur in the chest cavity of patients with damaged lungs when they are operated on.
"This case highlights the necessity and availability of fire prevention and training strategies, and rapid intervention strategies to prevent injuries when using electro-burning methods in an oxygen-rich environment.", report author Ruth Shaylor said during the European Anesthesia Association conference.
This is an unqualified experience for doctors.