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Robert Allen, 70, was found dead with burn marks on his shoulder and back when firefighters arrived at Methodist Hospital (photo) in San Antonio, Texas, in February

Dying man & # 39; badly burned by sparks from a defibrillator & # 39; who put the hospital floor on VUUR when nurses tried and could not resuscitate him

  • Robert Allen (70) was transferred to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas in February, where he needed CPR
  • He was found dead with burn marks on his shoulder and back when firemen arrived
  • The defibrillator that was used to resuscitate him sparked and ignited oxygen that had been left behind
  • A fire broke out and filled the 10th floor of the hospital with smoke
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A patient's body was fired after the defibrillator used to resuscitate him exploded.

Robert Allen, 70, was found dead with burn marks on his shoulder and back when firefighters arrived in February at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

The staff insisted that Allen was dead before the fire started, but new police reports indicate that the equipment was pressed against his body.

According to the incident report, first published by KHOU 11, the defibrillator swung in an arc, & # 39; a spark went off and ignited the oxygen in the room that was accidentally left behind. & # 39;

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A few minutes later, a nurse at the hospital called 911 according to logs: & # 39; Yes, the 10th floor is full of smoke! And we pull the people out and try to switch off the oxygen, but you can't even see through the hall that the smoke is so bad. & # 39;

Robert Allen, 70, was found dead with burn marks on his shoulder and back when firefighters arrived at Methodist Hospital (photo) in San Antonio, Texas, in February

Robert Allen, 70, was found dead with burn marks on his shoulder and back when firefighters arrived at Methodist Hospital (photo) in San Antonio, Texas, in February

She added: & # 39; No, we brought seven fire extinguishers down that hall that way, but you can't even see that hall.

& # 39; It's so bad that people come out stifling. & # 39;

Most CPR and first aid training courses send physicians to turn off oxygen before a defibrillator is administered.

Oxygen is not flammable, but it promotes combustion and forms the basis for a fire – as has happened many times in the hospital environment.

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The problem in many cases is that a patient needs oxygen, an ECG (a heart scan using electrodes) and a defibrillator at the same time – a Catch-22 situation.

According to a case study in 1994, in the journal Health Devices, & # 39; oxygen enriches the space around the patient's head and chest and allows an electric arc sometimes produced during defibrillation discharge to ignite body hair. The fire flashes quickly over the patient, consumes body hair and ignites nearby bedding materials and medical devices. & # 39;

The American Heart Association recommends as much weight as possible on the defibrillator electrodes (ideally at least 25lbs per pad) to prevent any interference and to seal any electrocardiographic electrodes as far away as possible from the electrodes.

A hospital spokesperson said in a statement: “We reported the incident to the authorities and conducted an internal review to help ensure that this does not happen in the future.

& # 39; The safety of our patients is our top priority; we regret that this incident occurred, but we are grateful to our employees for responding quickly to putting out the fire and continuing to care for patients. & # 39;

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