ECRI Institute Announces New Initiative to Extinguish Surgical Fires

New consultative service helps healthcare organizations prevent devastating surgical fires by uncovering hidden vulnerabilities

June 5, 2018

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—Approximately 90 to 100 surgical fires occur each year in the United States according to independent research organization ECRI Institute. Although rare, surgical fires pose serious consequences to patients, hospital staff, and to the reputation of the healthcare facility.

ECRI Institute, with decades of experience investigating surgical fires, announces a new consultative program focused on eliminating this safety hazard.

"While the healthcare community has made great strides in preventing surgical fires, we must not be complacent," says Scott Lucas, PhD, PE, ECRI Institute's director of accident and forensic investigation. He adds, "Guidelines to prevent and extinguish fires have been published by ECRI Institute and others for many years. Implementation of these guidelines is often the challenge."

Combining world-class experts and strict confidential onsite assessments, the new Surgical Fire Prevention service includes an in-depth review of a hospital or health system's surgical fire prevention policies and an audit of high-risk surgical procedures and practices. ECRI Institute's experts conduct interviews with pertinent stakeholders as part of the process. Confidential reports outline key findings of the assessment and offer in-depth, actionable recommendations to help minimize the chance of future surgical fires.

"Surgical fires are devastating to patients and to hospitals’ reputations," states Lucas. "We are pleased to apply our unique experience to this specialized on-site service."

For more information about ECRI Institute's Surgical Fire Prevention service, contact ECRI Institute at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891; e-mail; or mail to ECRI Institute, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

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About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 50 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information, contact:
Laurie Menyo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
(610) 825-6000, ext. 5310