Patient sues UPMC after suffering third-degree burns in operating room

A man burned in a fire while undergoing surgery at UPMC's Williamsport (Pa.) Regional Medical Center is suing the hospital, an anesthesia firm, two physicians and a nurse, according to PennLive.

The lawsuit, filed Sept. 4, alleges Alden Evans Sr. was burned Oct. 30, 2019, when oxygen used during his surgery was ignited by a cautery that uses heat. Mr. Evans was having basal cell extraction surgery when he sustained the first- second- and third-degree burns from the fire, according to the lawsuit. 

Mr. Evans was burned on his face and chest and had blistering on two fingers. His surgery was ended after the fire was extinguished, and he was immediately transferred to a burn recovery center in Allentown, Pa. He remained at the burn center until Nov. 2, 2019, according to the report. 

Williamsport Regional Medical Center is part of UPMC's Susquehanna Region. A spokesperson told PennLive that the health system does not comment on pending litigation. 

According to medical records cited in the lawsuit, the procedure began at 8:24 a.m. A case management note seven minutes later states in part: "Fire noted at drapes on the face. Fire announced to the room. Disconnected O2 (oxygen)," according to the report. 

Mr. Evans alleges negligence by the hospital; Anesthesia Associates of Williamsport; Nathalie Lavallee, MD; Timothy Pastore, MD; and Kristin Adkins, a registered nurse anesthetist. The lawsuit alleges the clinicians disregarded burn and explosion prevention standards, failed to follow fire prevention protocol and draped Mr. Evans in a way that caused a funneling effect, trapping leaking oxygen around his neck and face, according to the report. 

Read the full PennLive article here

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