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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.

ABOUT BEAUMONT HEALTH
Beaumont Health is Michigan's largest health care system, based on inpatient admissions and net patient revenue. A not-for-profit organization, it was formed in 2014 by Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare to provide patients with the benefit of greater access to extraordinary, compassionate care, no matter where they live in Southeast Michigan. Beaumont Health consists of eight hospitals with 3,337 beds, 168 outpatient sites, nearly 5,000 physicians and 35,000 employees and about 3,500 volunteers. In 2015, the organization had $4.1 billion in net revenue with 177,934 inpatient admissions, 17,151 births and 530,860 emergency visits. For more information, visit beaumont.org.

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