Monday, October 8, 2012

Hearts on fire

You would think that the line above is only something out of a torrid romance novel, right? But what if I tell you that it can happen to you while you are lying helpless and paralysed?

Yup, I'm talking about surgical fire.

What's that you ask me? It's fire that can happen while you are under the knife for something as innocuous as an appendectomy (removal of that little caecum that nobody knows the raison d'etre of which that is inflamed, causing you pain and potentially fatal) or even something as scary as a quadruple bypass. The operation theatre is a ripe fire hazard what with the easy availability of fuel (e.g. surgical drapes, clothes, alcohol-based prep, the patient [yes, that's right. Spontaneous human combustion nightmare much? Hahaha!]), ignition source (you don't need a smoker to light up, just the surgeon happily working with lasers and lights and whatnot) as well as an oxidiser (i.e. oxygen for you to keep breathing while being sedated).

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Fire in the surgery may be minor (no one got singed, nothing got damaged) or even catastrophical (someone - usually the patient - has minor to third degree burns). If you want the gory stuff, there's this magical thing called Google. You can look it up!

However, I am not here to be a fear-monger and make you cancel that life-saving surgery you just scheduled. It's just a little educational tip for you to know that there are more risks to medical procedures than overdosing on your painkiller and permanently damaging your kidneys or suffering another heart attack when your insurance company won't cough up for the much needed quadruple bypass.

Surgical fires are preventable. There are training for the medical personnel and information made available to patients. So please ask questions before you go for ANY medical procedures and make sure that your health care providers are able to educate you on the risks

If I gave you another medical phobia, well, too bad.

*insert evil laughter*

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