Woman's face catches on fire during surgery

A woman's face caught on fire during routine surgery in the US.

Kim Grice, 29, was undergoing surgery to have cysts removed from her brain when her face erupted in flames.

Grice was airlifted to a Burn Unit with burns to her face and neck.

Grice's father, Ted Grice, told a local newspaper his daughter's face had "caught on fire" during surgery.

"The doctors and the hospital are not telling us what happened," he said. "They said they had never seen anything like it before and they are terribly sorry that it happened."

Grice's mother said she was in shock.

"This is not what happens with a routine outpatient surgery."

According to ABC News, however, "flash fires"are not uncommon.

Between 550 and 650 surgical fires occur each year in the US alone. More than half of surgical fires happen inside a patient's airway or on the patient's upper body, while a quarter of surgical fires happen on other parts of the body.

About 70 per cent of "flash fires" are ignited by electrosurgical tools commonly known as Bovies, devices that use a high-frequency electric current to cut tissue or stop bleeding, reported MSNBC.

Twenty per cent of fires are sparked by hot wires, light sources, burrs or defibrillators while about 10 per cent are sparked by lasers.

- HERALD ONLINE

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