Pancreatic cancer patient in Romania set ablaze during surgery
Romanian Health Minister Victor Costache said in a statement that the Health Ministry will investigate the incident and learn from this "troubling episode."
By AARON REICHPublished: DECEMBER 31, 2019 21:06Advertisement
This is surely not one of the risks commonly associated with surgery.While many patients fear complications from being opened by a surgeon's scalpel, the risk of burning to death is considerably low.However, this seemingly impossible accident is exactly what occurred to a 66-year-old woman in Bucharest, Romania, as she was set ablaze on the operating table during the procedure, the BBC reported.The patient was undergoing an operation for pancreatic cancer at Bucharest's Floreasca Hospital on December 22. However, the surgeons used alcohol-based disinfectant, which caught on fire after coming into contact with an electric scalpel.This is something absolutely prohibited, according to Romanian Deputy Health Minister Horatiu Moldovan.The woman died in the hospital a week later.Her family was kept in the dark about the incident, and was simply told that there was an accident."We found out some details from the press, when they were broadcast on TV stations," they said to Romanian news outlets. "We aren't making accusations, we just want to understand what happened."According to the BBC, Romania spends the least amount of money on its healthcare system – both per capita and as a GDP percentage – than any other EU nation. As a result, its hospital infrastructure is significantly underdeveloped.Romanian Health Minister Victor Costache said in a statement that the Health Ministry will investigate the incident and learn from this "troubling episode."Police have since begun investigating the woman's death.
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