Operating Room Fires

Anesthesiology. 2019 Mar;130(3):492-501. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000002598.


Operating room fires are rare but devastating events. Guidelines are available for the prevention and management of surgical fires; however, these recommendations are based on expert opinion and case series. The three components of an operating room fire are present in virtually all surgical procedures: an oxidizer (oxygen, nitrous oxide), an ignition source (i.e., laser, "Bovie"), and a fuel. This review analyzes each fire ingredient to determine the optimal clinical strategy to reduce the risk of fire. Surgical checklists, team training, and the specific management of an operating room fire are also reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electrocoagulation / adverse effects
  • Fires / prevention & control*
  • Gas Scavengers / trends
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms / methods*
  • Operating Rooms / standards*
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage
  • Oxygen / adverse effects*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / adverse effects


  • Oxygen