Patient's fart 'sparked fire during surgery in hospital'

A patient at Tokyo Medical University Hospital was seriously burnt after a laser ignited gas she passed.
A patient at Tokyo Medical University Hospital was seriously burnt after a laser ignited gas she passed.PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

TOKYO • A patient's fart during a surgical procedure allegedly sparked a fire which caused her to be seriously burnt, Asahi Shimbun reported, citing the Tokyo Medical University Hospital.

The fire occurred at the hospital in Shinjuku on April 15, the Japanese newspaper said on Saturday.

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, probably ignited by the gas she passed, caused a fire that burned 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 Friday that no flammable materials were in the operation room during the surgery. It also mentioned that the operation equipment was functioning normally, according to Asahi Shimbun.

"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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'Patient's fart 'sparked fire during surgery in hospital''. Print Edition | Subscribe