Botsford Hospital
28050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48336-5919
(248) 471-8000
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Hospital Employee Ensures Fire Safety in Botsford's OR

Farmington Hills, Mich. (April 20, 2009)---Fire is an inherent risk in operating rooms and poses a real hazard to patient and health care worker safety. In the operating rooms at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., a surgical services assistant named Anthony Mathews works to reduce fire risk. In recognition of this, Mathews has been selected as a recipient of the hospital’s 2009 Safety Excellence Award for contributing to Botsford’s safety initiatives. 
 
Mathews, who lives in Southfield, serves as fire safety officer in the hospital’s Surgical Services East Pavilion. He assists with frequent rounding of the area to assure fire safety compliance. Mathews takes this role very seriously and has successfully worked with the staff to educate them, which also boosts compliance on this life-and-death issue. 
 
“Each perioperative team member at Botsford Hospital is responsible for promoting a culture of fire safety,” says Marge Hasler, R.N., vice-president and chief nursing officer and chair of the hospital’s Safety Board. “We applaud Tony’s leadership on this issue; his vigilant efforts are key to ensuring readiness for preventing fires in our OR.” 
 
OR fires can occur when the elements that support combustion -- an ignition source, a fuel source, and an oxidizer -- come together. All three elements are present in abundance during operative and invasive procedures. 
 
Ignition sources are anything that produces heat, commonly the electrosurgical unit and the laser. Almost everything in the perioperative arena can be a fuel source, especially when an accelerant, such as oxygen, is present. The items used to set up the sterile field and protect the patient -- linens, drapes, gowns, supplies, preps and gauzes -- are considered fuel sources. The primary oxidizers in the surgical environment are oxygen and nitrous oxide. Fires can occur when the oxygen level in the atmosphere rises above the level of ambient air. Oxygen can escape into the air when patients are given oxygen.

Beaumont Health is a not-for-profit organization formed by Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare to provide high-quality, efficient, accessible services in a caring environment for southeastern Michigan residents and beyond. As one of Beaumont Health's eight hospitals, Botsford Hospital is a multi-specialty 330-bed hospital and verified trauma center located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The campus also houses an imaging center, a comprehensive care cancer center and an extensive medical education program---part of Michigan State University's Statewide Campus System. Annually, Botsford cares for about 16,000 inpatients and more than 60,000 emergency and trauma patients with a team of approximately 2,500 employees, 300 volunteers and 600 physicians.

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