The February 18, 2009 edition of The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about fires in the operating room, which happen approximately 650 times per year in the United States.
A sample: "Because each member of the [surgical] team may be focusing on his own role in a procedure, ‘the No. 1 cause of fires is lousy communication’ says Patricia Seifert, editor-in-chief of AORN Journal, the monthly publication of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses."
Here is a website dedicated to raise awareness about this problem: www.surgicalfire.org.
It goes without saying that these incidents can give rise to medical negligence cases against one or members of the surgical team. A patient seriously burned in an operating room should seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer to investigate the potential merits of a medical malpractice lawsuit.