According to reports from the Tokyo Medical University in Japan, a woman was badly burned during a surgical procedure in April. The woman, who has not been identified, passed gas during a gynecological procedure. The gas was ignited by a surgical laser in use at the time.
“When the patient’s intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operation [room], it ignited with the irradiation of the laser, and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire.” The official report explained.
Much of the 30-year-old’s body was burned including her waist and legs. A report concluded that no flammable material, except for the surgical drape, was present in the operating room at the time. An investigation found that the operating equipment, including the laser, were all functioning normally.
Hydrogen and methane are the two flammable components of intestinal gas. Only about one-third of people can produce combustible levels, and it’s harmless as long as it doesn’t cause a secondary fire.
Opposing Views reports:
A woman was seriously burned during a gynecological surgical procedure in April when she passed gas, which when combined with the surgical laser, started a fire.
The incident occurred at the Tokyo Medical University, reports the Straits Times, and was originally reported in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.