National Fire Prevention Week, October 7 through 13, also saw the celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative. Started by the FDA and its partners to supplement the efforts of the numerous health care organizations that had addressed the issue and implemented strategies and education to reduce the risk of fires, the FDA has a Web site dedicated to the topic.

It says that an estimated 550 to 650 surgical fires occur in the United States per year. These fires, which happen in, on, or around a patient who is undergoing a medical or surgical procedure, cause serious injury, disfigurement, and even death. It says that even though the root causes of surgical fires are well-understood, they still occur.

The FDA’s site helps increase awareness about what contributes to surgical fires, it disseminates prevention tools, and it promotes the adoption of risk reduction practices throughout the health care community.

Have you used this site? Has it been beneficial? What has your department done to help prevent surgical fires?