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Recommendations in Fire Service Report Considered

Media Release

26 September 2002

Ministry Of Health to Consider Recommendations in Fire Service Report

THE Ministry of Health has received the New Zealand Fire Service's report into an incident where a solution caught fire in a Waitakere Hospital operating room.

"We will be considering its recommendations in conjunction with any proposals from the Waitemata District Health Board, to minimise the chances of this happening again," the Ministry's Deputy Director-General of Clinical Services, Dr Colin Feek said today.

"The Ministry is always concerned with the safety and well-being of patients and staff. Professionals in the operating theatre have a high level of training and awareness of safe practises while working, particularly when medical gases and electricity are being used."

"The Ministry takes this incident very seriously and will be working to ensure the chance of it happening again is minimised. This will include sharing the report widely with District Health Boards," Dr Feek said.

The recent incidents where fluids have caught fire in an operating theatre are rare events in New Zealand, and only occur with a highly unusual combination of factors.

The fire service's report noted that fires overseas involving the use of alcohol-based solutions and electro-surgical equipment are also uncommon, but are a clearly identified hazard when used together.


For more information contact: Andrew Greenwood Media Advisor Ministry of Health DDI: 04 496 2115 Mobile: 025 495 989 Fax: 04-496-2010

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