Ask ECRI: Surgical Fire Documentation

August 3, 2021 | Health System Risk Management


A member recently asked for advice on documentation related to surgical fires.

ECRI recommends that all organizations ensure that all fires, however small, are reported and documented in accordance with state and local regulations, the Safe Medical Device Act (SMDA), accreditation requirements, and applicable codes and standards. Any instance of "fire, flame, or unanticipated smoke, heat, or flashes occurring during an episode of patient care" is subject to the Joint Commission's sentinel event policy, regardless of whether the patient was harmed. As such, the organization must submit a root-cause analysis of the event and a corrective action plan (or one of the acceptable...

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