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Fire in OR Burns Patient's Face

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During a routine procedure to remove cysts from her head, a woman's face set on fire and left her with horrific scars. The flash fire burnt 29-year-old Kim Grice's face and neck and she was subsequently airlifted to the Alabama University Hospital Burn Unit where she is now in stable condition.

Kim's mother, Anne, said that she was waiting for her daughter to finish surgery around 10:20 a.m. when a fire truck pulled up. When Anne asked doctors and other medical staff what was going on, no one would answer her. After she finally found out that Kim's face had set on fire, she was shocked that a routine procedure to remove cysts left her daughter in the burn unit under the care of burn specialists.

However, according to experts, 600 fires happen per year in operating rooms nationwide. According to doctors, it's a simple matter of chemistry as surgeries require three chemicals that combined can result in a fire–oxygen, heat, and alcohol (for sterilization). Furthermore, doctors and surgeons say they are just as shocked when an incidence such as this happens and that they are working toward preventing future burn accidents. However, the Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating the prevalence of operating room fires. According to Kim's mother, she cannot open her eyes because of swelling, she suffers from nausea, and she refuses to see her young children for fear that her appearance will scare them.