Fart sparks fire during surgery in Japan; patient seriously burnt

A view of Tokyo city centre on Aug 16. A patient's fart during a surgical procedure allegedly sparked a fire which caused her to be seriously burnt in the Tokyo Medical University Hospital.
A view of Tokyo city centre on Aug 16. A patient's fart during a surgical procedure allegedly sparked a fire which caused her to be seriously burnt in the Tokyo Medical University Hospital. PHOTO: AFP

A patient's fart during a surgical procedure allegedly sparked a fire which caused her to be seriously burnt, the Tokyo Medical University Hospital in Shinjuku Ward said.

The incident was reported in Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

The fire occurred at the university hospital in Tokyo on April 15. The patient, in her 30s, was undergoing an operation which involved applying a laser to her cervix, the lower part of the uterus.

The laser is believed to have been ignited by the gas she passed. The fire burnt much of her body, including her waist and legs, the report said.

A committee of external experts who examined the case said in a report released on Oct 28 that no flammable materials were in the operation room during the surgery.

It also mentioned that the operation equipment was functioning normally.

"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 report said.