O² Enriched Environments

Surgical areas are oxygen-enriched environments and especially susceptible to fires due to the use of supplemental oxygen and nitrous oxide. In this environment, materials that do not ordinarily burn in air may ignite, and those that do burn in air will burn hotter and faster.  For the safety of staff and patients alike, it is important to be constantly aware of the increased risk of fire in an oxygen enriched-environment.

To minimize these risks, it is imperative that ignition sources (electrosurgical equipment such as ESU and Bovi, lasers, fiber-optic lights), fuel sources (lines, drapes, alcohol preps, hair), and oxidizer sources (nitrous oxide, oxygen) are kept separate from each other at all times.

To learn more about preventing fires in oxygen-enriched environments, refer to the Operating Room Fire Prevention Algorithm and the Fire Safety in the Operating Room Policy from Peri-Operative Services Administration.

If you are interested in fire prevention training in oxygen-enriched environments, please submit your request to [email protected].

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