We seek to build a coalition of public and private healthcare organizations with expertise in product use, risk management, standard setting, and many other areas of quality care and safety. Together, we can develop and implement effective risk reduction strategies for preventing surgical fires. We welcome other organizations who want to join in the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative.
To find out more about the “Preventing Surgical Fires” initiative or to get involved, contact the Safe Use Initiative.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Founded in 1933, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is the preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopaedic surgeons and others in the world. Its continuing medical education activities include a world-renowned Annual Meeting, multiple CME courses held around the country and at the Orthopaedic Learning Center, and various medical and scientific publications and electronic media materials.
American Academy of Physician Assistants
Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) is the national professional society for physician assistants (PAs). It represents a profession of more than 81,000 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and within the uniformed services. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. AAPA works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and recognition of physician assistants. It also works to enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered health care.
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1931, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional association representing more than 44,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists nationwide. The AANA promulgates education and practice standards and guidelines, and affords consultation to both private and governmental entities regarding nurse anesthetists and their practice. According to the AANA Scope and Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice (PDF-35KB) , every CRNA must take steps to minimize the risk of operating room fires.
American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants
The American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants (AASPA) is a not-for-profit surgical specialty organization supporting and representing surgical physician assistants (PAs) in all operative settings and specialties in the United States. AASPA was founded by surgical PAs in 1970, and remains a resource for members who seek to better their careers, improve their profession, and provide exceptional patient care. In addition to serving surgical PA professionals, AASPA stresses patient safety through communication and cooperation among the surgical team members.
American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. Members of the American College of Surgeons are referred to as "Fellows." The College currently has approximately 78,000 members, including more than 4,000 Fellows in other countries, making it the largest organization of surgeons in the world. There are presently more than 2,600 Associate Fellows.
American Society for Healthcare Risk Management
Founded in 1980, the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) is a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA). With more than 5,700 members, ASHRM promotes effective risk management and patient safety strategies through education, advocacy, publications and networking. For more information: www.ashrm.org
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific association with 46,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.
ASA assembled a task force to study operating room fires and make recommendations on what to do both to prevent fires in the operating room and prepare for those very rare cases when they occur. ASA continues to share our recommendations with health care providers and to educate patients about this issue.
American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
The American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) is the professional specialty nursing organization representing the interests of more than 55,000 nurses participating in all phases of preanesthesia and postanesthesia care, ambulatory surgery, and pain management. In relation to the safety initiative related to the prevention of surgical fires, ASPAN strives to be an influential advocate for perianesthesia safety, public policy, nursing practice and standards.
Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation
The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) is urging reassessment of the routine use of supplemental oxygen for surgical procedures that introduce an increased risk of fire. The APSF Fire Safety Video produced in cooperation with ECRI Institute describes steps to take for decreasing the risk of operating room fires, including the management of the patient's airway when supplemental oxygen is deemed medically necessary. The APSF Fire Safety Video may be viewed on the APSF website and a complimentary DVD is available on request.
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) consisting of 40,000 plus members, provides tools and resources to manage fire safety practices in the surgical suite. In addition to The Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices, AORN also produces a Fire Safety Tool Kit , portions of which are available for non-members. The tool kit contains sample fire risk assessment checklists as well as tools to assist in creating scenarios and evaluations for fire drills in healthcare facilities.
Association of Surgical Technologists
Established in 1969, the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) mission is to enhance the profession to ensure quality patient care. Surgical fire hazards and precautions are identified in the AST Core Curriculum, 6th edition, and are considered an important educational focus for all surgical technology education programs. AST has also developed substantive surgical fire safety information for their Recommended Standards of Practice for Laser Safety; Gowning and Gloving; Surgical Scrub, Skin Prep of the Surgical Patient and is working on related information in a soon-to-be-published Recommended Standards of Practice for Electrosurgery.
Children's Hospital - Boston
Children's Hospital Boston is a tertiary-quaternary care pediatric hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School. We engage our operative teams in regular formal fire prevention training, consisting of customized planning outlining roles and responsibilities of the surgical team and realistic training sessions, including a realistic fire suppression on a mock patient. Didactic and practical training sessions cover fire prevention, fire suppression, fire response and evacuation from the OR.
Christiana Care Health System
Christiana Care Health System, headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, is one of the leading health care providers in the United States, ranking 17th in the nation for hospital admissions. Christiana Care is a major teaching hospital with two campuses and more than 240 Medical-Dental residents and fellows. Christiana Care is recognized as a regional center for excellence in cardiology, cancer, and women's health services. The system is home to Delaware's only Level I trauma center, the only center of its kind between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Christiana Care also features a Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, the only delivering hospital in the state to offer this level of care for newborns.
Christiana Care Health System has been at the forefront of identifying the issue of surgical fires and implementing measures to prevent fires in the operating room. Standardized fire safety protocols, the development and implementation of novel technologies and comprehensive team training have been instrumental in creating an environment of open communication and safety awareness within the operating room. By integrating fire safety assessments as standard protocol within Christiana Care, we have eliminated the occurrence of surgical fires. Just as importantly, we have created a learning culture in our clinical practice where medical safety issues can be identified and openly addressed.
Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety
The Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) is an incorporated multidisciplinary coalition of professional organizations whose members are involved in the care of surgical patients. CSPS promotes excellence in patient safety in the surgical and perioperative environment. As part of its mission, CSPS has developed a number of Safe Surgery Principles including one on fire safety and one on smoke evacuation.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
As part of our Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center global safety initiative in perioperative services, all OR personnel will be required to view the video on our modified timeout process on a quarterly basis. As seen on the video, each participant states his or her role prior to starting the case. At the end of the timeout process, we discuss the steps each OR team member would take to prevent a fire and steps the team members would take in the event of a fire. The modifications do not add significant time to the conventional timeout process and could be universally adopted.
ECRI Institute is an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care. Over the past 35 years we have investigated hundreds of serious or fatal surgical fire accidents in hospitals and outpatient settings and provided the healthcare community with guidance on their prevention and extinguishment. The Institute’s publications and its collaborative work with the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and the Joint Commission have resulted in the new clinical recommendations to acute care healthcare organizations, surgical centers, and physician offices for prevention of this hazard. ECRI Institute’s surgical fire prevention resources include free educational posters on surgical fire prevention and extinguishment and an extensive bibliography on surgical fire, in addition to other materials.
Fairview Health Services
Based in Minneapolis, Fairview Health Services is a non-profit health care system providing exceptional clinical care—from prevention of illness and injury to care for the most complex medical conditions. In partnership with the University of Minnesota, Fairview is an academic health system striving to enhance the clinical enterprise, achieve nation-leading research and academic prominence. Fairview’s continuum includes 40-plus primary care clinics, a wide range of specialty services, home care and senior services. Fairview owns six hospitals, including the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is an independent, nonprofit patient safety organization (PSO) devoted entirely to safe medication use. ISMP operates the National Medication Error Reporting Program (ISMP MERP) to analyze reports of medication errors, hazardous conditions and near-misses and forwards information from these reports to FDA’s MedWatch Program. ISMP publicly disseminates safety information, risk-reduction tools, and error-prevention strategies. It collaborates with healthcare stakeholders and other PSOs to educate the healthcare community about safe medication practices and advocate for adoption of safe medication standards. ISMP reviews all medication-related safety incidents and serious events submitted to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS) by Pennsylvania's licensed acute healthcare facilities. A quarterly, peer-reviewed Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory is produced by ECRI Institute and ISMP under contract to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.
Medical Product Safety Network
The Medical Product Safety Network (MedSun) is an internet-based adverse event reporting program launched in 2002 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). MedSun improves FDA’s understanding of problems with the use of medical devices so that the FDA, healthcare facilities, clinicians and manufacturers can better address safety concerns. The primary goal for MedSun is to work collaboratively with the clinical community to identify, understand, and solve problems with the use of medical devices. MedSun is committed to surgical fire prevention.
Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority receives, analyzes, and disseminates information from mandatory reports of all safety incidents and serious events involving patients in Pennsylvania's licensed acute healthcare facilities. Since July of 2004, the Authority has received over 200,000 reports per year. Information is disseminated in the quarterly, peer-reviewed Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory. The Authority has a particular interest in the analyzing reports of fires and burns in the operating room and understanding all the steps involved in preventing them.
Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is the largest general surgery specialty society in the United States and is devoted to education, training and research. SAGES has developed a program entitled the Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy (FUSE) with collaboration from gynecologic (AAGL), urologic (AUA), anesthesia (ASA), and nursing colleagues (AORN). This is intended to be a high stakes examination for physicians as well as a CEU program for nurses. FUSE covers a wide variety of topics in the use of surgical energy and has a specific focus in the prevention and management of fires in the operating room.
Founded by Cathy Reuter Lake, whose mother was critically burned in a surgical fire, surgicalfire.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of surgical and operating room fires through education and collaboration.
The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission (TJC) seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.
Veteran Affairs’ National Center for Patient Safety
The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) was established in 1999 to develop and nurture a culture of safety throughout the Veterans Health Administration. Our goal is the nationwide reduction and prevention of inadvertent harm to patients as a result of their care. Patient safety managers at 153 VA hospitals and patient safety officers at 21 VA regional headquarters participate in the program.