Errors made by doctors and operating room staff at NYU Langone Medical Center led to a patient catching fire during surgery, a state investigation has found. The incident took place in December 2014, when a medical instrument mistakenly reacted with oxygen in the room, creating a spark that escalated into a surgical fire that involved the patient.
The state Health Department report was obtained by the Post in a Freedom of Information Law request, and is plagued by extensive redactions. "When the surgeon used the [redacted] in the presence of oxygen, there was a spark escalating to a surgical fire that involved the [redacted] and the [redacted] and the patient," it reads.
The incident report blames a "communications failure between the surgeon and anesthesiologist" for the fire. The hospital also reportedly lacked a plan to prevent future fire injuries to surgery patients.
The patient's name, type of surgery, extent of injury, and the specific instrument that caused the operating room fire were all removed from the DOH report.
The report also declared Langone to be "not in substantial compliance" with federal surgery and anesthesia regulations. This led to the DOH declaring an "immediate jeopardy situation" at the hospital on December 30th, 2014. The Post notes that staff at Langone instituted new safety precautions that same evening.