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  • scarlett2 Nov 8, 2012

    We had to watch a video once years ago at an annual training, on how a fire can start with an oxygen source and an electrical source present like a defibrillator. It was incredible how quickly it started and engulfed the whole patient. This old video should be shown at all hospitals. There was a case years ago where an OR patient caught fire from oxygen going under the drapes and the surgeon was using electrical cautery. The whole room panicked because the blaze and smoke was so intense, they ran out, leaving the patient to burn to death while under anesthesia. It was horrible. People become numb to what they are doing everyday on the job and forget the basics of safety.

  • scarlett2 Nov 8, 2012

    One crucial thing that most healthcare providers forget during a code is to turn the oxygen off or place it well away from the patient when you are using the defibrillator. I am guessing that no one in the room did this, and they are the source of the explosion/fire. It only takes a second to shut it off then turn it quickly back on after defibrillation. Usually during a code, so many people are in the room, it becomes chaos and nobody is thinking about it. Hospitals should have annual training and emphasize this in their training that if you do not shut off the oxygen, you can start a fire. Assign one person during a code to handle the oxygen, one to do chest compressions, one to operate the defibrillator, one to start IVs and inject medications. If everyone has an assigned role on their team, accidents will be rare. I have seen codes where no one even removed the oxygen mask or shut off the oxygen at all; they were lucky that they didn't start a fire.

  • jackcdneh1017 Nov 7, 2012

    As a former student at Watts School of Nursing based out of Durham Regional, I can attest to the fine care provided there. It is a wonder that more fires are not started this way. In a code, electrical energy is delivered to the patient in a attempt to have the heart re- start in a stable rhythm. This is done while others are ventilating the patient with oxygen by necessity. Just another example where health care professionals risk their well-being when trying to save a life.

  • I_know_right Nov 7, 2012


  • JAT Nov 7, 2012

    Ouch! Terrible accident for sure.

  • debnsnoop Nov 6, 2012

    simple is so appropriate and your comment NOT appropriate....a life was lost a little respect....

  • Diva RN Nov 6, 2012

    Well, now it looks fairly conclusive that it was not smoking-related.

    @Scubagirl- I remember on my L&D rotation, a woman in active labor smoking in the bathroom of her room. *sigh*

    And it is also very sad that some people apparently jumped to the conclusion that it was the fault of a psych patient. Mental illnesses will continue to be stigmatized as long as there are people who think like that. Actually, psych patients would be LESS likely to have something to light a fire because unlike other types of patients, psych patients can be legally searched and their belongings confiscated upon admission.

    As a nurse, my heart goes out to all the health care workers and the patient involved. So sad.

  • Scubagirl Nov 6, 2012

    WOW! I would have NEVER considered that as the cause. How horrible for all involved. Good job to the staff and condolences to all.

    For those saying "how could anyone think patient was smoking?" Been there, seen it, taken cigs and matches away from patients in an ICU so it DOES happen and with no more details than we had this morning I think it was a somewhat logical assumption. Yes, it was an assumption-proven wrong this time.

  • Texan Nov 6, 2012

    I'm very sorry for the person who lost their life. It's very rare, but it does happen. The staff should be commended for taking care of the other patients and putting them first before their own safety.

  • debnsnoop Nov 6, 2012

    I am a big fan of WRAL but I have to say I was very disappointed when your headlines read " One Killed " you made us sound like killers.To all the one's that yacked on about smoking..get a life !!! If you were not there then you have no right to assume !!!! I am proud to be part of the DRH Family....My prayers to family and friends of the deceased and injured..

  • mycatbubba Nov 6, 2012

    How could anyone think someone was smoking? Three staff members were with the person when the fire occurred and they were also injured. I seriously doubt they were standing around socializing.

  • kidsrn Nov 6, 2012

    As a nurse who works for a very large well-known hospital we have had it drilled into our heads what to do in case of a fire. This has always been one of my worst fears---a fire at work---b/c I would have to evacuate patients before I could, in good conscience, leave myself. It is what people do for those who cannot care for themselves.

    I feel very bad for the patient and also for the staff that are injured. We all need to wait for the official report before spouting theories.

  • Caring Nov 6, 2012

    See No Smoking involved!!! Get the facts first!!!

  • Paul M Nov 6, 2012

    Sooo to all of you that jumped on the smoking band wagon dont lay blame untill ya know. Lesson learned ?

  • warbirdlover Nov 6, 2012

    Oxygen is highly misunderstood. It is an oxidizer, meaning it enhances combustion. Oxygen really don't explode, it just gives a fire a super source to maintain combustion. No oxygen = No fire. Example. A piece oof wood on fire just burns normally, now introduce pure oxygen into the mix, the piece of wood burns like a blow torch.

  • Common_Sensey Nov 6, 2012

    Makes sense to me, defib often produces sparks. All it takes is a source of pure oxygen around....

  • sparks Nov 6, 2012

    There are many possible reasons for a fire around ventilators and I would expect virtually the patients in the Select LTAC were on vents. For example, there can be a spark from a simple machine and static buildup. A few years ago a baby was critically burned at DUH when the infant was set ablaze by a spark under a sheet near tented oxygen flow. I look forward to hearing how Duke and Select will sort out liability.

  • soohappy Nov 6, 2012

    @iknowjack 6th floor houses Select and a psych unit

  • North Carolina Cutie Nov 6, 2012

    iknowjack I'm sure the family of the patient that passed will not like your comment. Think how you would feel if it was your family.

  • askme Nov 6, 2012

    I really hate to hear this happened. My Mom was a patient on this floor a few years ago after she went into cardiac arrest and coded for 10 minutes. She luckily did not have brain damage and Select was one step in the process that got her back to good health. This place was/is amazing!!!

  • irishgirlsarepretty Nov 6, 2012

    So sad to hear about this :(

    If you EVER have to have surgery - do it at Durham Regional. Seriously. I had surgery there in June and I was completely blown away by how well I was treated. I felt like I was being taken care of by family.

  • nano Nov 6, 2012

    I agree w/ crustyhalo...wait until the FD comes out w/ report. I am so sorry for the families and friends. Awful.

  • jenjengirl89 Nov 6, 2012

    flack222, thanks for the up to date info about that.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 6, 2012

    No word yet on the cause.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 6, 2012

    I'm guessing this involved smoking when oxygen was in use. I was dating a guy who was injured at work resulting in hospitalization and surgery. He tried to bully me into getting him a cigarette while he was hooked up to oxygen. I walked out.

  • flack222 Nov 6, 2012

    Select Specialty is actually a separate facility that operates a large portion of the 6th floor at Durham Regional. From what I understand they rent that space from the hospital proper and generally are for the care of long term patients with specialized needs (i.e. ventilator dependent, etc). Its definitely not a psych unit anymore.

  • crustyhalo Nov 6, 2012 people sure jump to conclusion's .

  • jenjengirl89 Nov 6, 2012

    When I worked there back in the '80s, I recall that floor 6 wing 2 was a locked area that housed psychiatric patients. That was a long time ago but I wonder if that's still the case?

  • Skywatch_NC Nov 6, 2012

    Prayers and thoughts with the deceased patient's family and with the injured staff members and their families.

  • warrenhicks19672 Nov 6, 2012

    And what is wrong JPE with it being reported on the national news?

  • warrenhicks19672 Nov 6, 2012

    ok my original post was censored for a word I said, so I will try again. Why are people assuming that someone smoking caused this fire. As a former firefighter, there could be almost an infinite number of possibilities. Feel for the dead patient's family and the staff and wait until the investigation says OFFICIALLY what happened.

  • Scubagirl Nov 6, 2012

    no one KNOWS what started the fire, that's true; but many of us DO have experience in hospitals and my first guess would also be that someone was sneaking a smoke! Might not be true, might be.

    Condolences to the deceased patient's family and kudos to the staff for averting something much, much worse.

  • Caring Nov 6, 2012

    Who said and verified that someone was smoking? Wait and see what the reports say later because assuming.

  • meltnfrets Nov 6, 2012

    This person did NOT die from the fire but my previous post was CENSORED as this one likely will be.

  • ccsloop Nov 6, 2012

    A flame in pure oxygen will not explode in the usual sense. It creates a fast burning environment.

  • djofraleigh Nov 6, 2012

    Ok, It said there was NO EXPLOSION. If they were smoking there would have been an EXPLOSION. -- comment

    If gas were poured on the ground, a match thrown onto it, there would be a great whoosh as the whole area of fumes ignited at once, but that would not be an explosion, though it would sound like one. Nothing is being blown apart by the force of the fast ignition. Maybe someone will define explosion for us inside a building with oxygen. If that was the case here.

  • djofraleigh Nov 6, 2012

    Air is about 21% oxygen but just a couple of points higher (23%) and about everything in a room will ignite once a fire is started.

    The staff would have removed patients from near the fire, alerted others, Contained the fire by shutting the fire door to the room and cut off the oxygen to that area from a remote point so the water and extinguishers could suffocate the flames.

    I'm sure the staff had fire drills to practice. That is what overcomes the panic. Sounds like they did a good job. Probably took the fire department less than 3 minutes to respond.

    As for the "explosion" reported, I'm guessing that was from the initial whoosh of sound as the entire room erupted in flames upon oxygen being released and built up, then an ignition source (lighter/spark) set it off at once.

    The earth itself has gotten oxygen enriched and wildfires bring it back down. Imagine 30% Oxygen levels...had 'em 300 million years ago...hence the giant insects and creatures. Lightning would be setting the

  • PracticalMagick Nov 6, 2012

    I would assume nicotine patches are given out, as I understand the vast majority of hospital campuses are now smoke-free. I know that the facility where I work is, and they do give patches to the patients that smoke.

  • ckblackm Nov 6, 2012

    I wonder if they give nicotine patches for smokers in those rooms... just curious because they did for my mother at Alamance Regional when she was in the ICU there.

  • Paul M Nov 6, 2012

    Ok, It said there was NO EXPLOSION. If they were smoking there would have been an EXPLOSION. This is comeing from experiance of a friend that died from this, Blew the trailer apart.

  • djofraleigh Nov 6, 2012

    Don't know what happened here, but years ago I was visiting someone daily at Raleigh Community Hospital (now Duke) and every time I passed a certain room, a patient, on oxygen, who couldn't move would call out and beg for a smoke. Within the week, someone meaning mercy must have his cigarette up for the room burned, killing the patient. This is so sad, and scary where patients are so impaired and vulnerable.

  • YippiYiyoKiYay Nov 6, 2012

    Sounds like someone might have been sneaking a smoke. Terrible result.

  • pulstar40 Nov 6, 2012

    How sad for the patient who died! Perhaps trapped in a hospital bed because he or she was too ill or too injured to move? My sympathies are with the family.

  • JPE Nov 6, 2012

    I saw this reported on the NATIONAL news this morning. Good grief!

  • workingforthosethatwont Nov 6, 2012

    smoking and oxygen don't mix!

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