Australian doctors reported a rare case: during a heart surgery, a fire broke out in the patient’s chest to correct the aortic rupture in the chest cavity. Surgeons were able to quickly extinguish it and successfully sew up an artery, according to a press release on the Eurekalert website!
In August 2018, a 60-year-old man entered Austin Hospital in Melbourne. He needed an urgent operation to repair the damage to the ascending part of the aorta – in this part of the artery the inner layer ruptured. In addition to problems with the aorta, the patient has long suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ) – this is the name for a group of diseases that are characterized by chronic restriction of airflow in the airways. Over time, the disease progresses, bulls can form in the lungs, which is what happened in an elderly Australian.
To quickly get to the heart, surgeons under the guidance of Ruth Shaylor (Ruth Shaylor) were forced to cut the sternum – the bone located in the center of the chest and the heart and lungs protecting from external influences. During this procedure, part of the right lung, including several bulls, stuck to the sternum. While the surgeons were trying to separate the lung tissue from the bone, they damaged the wall of one of the bulls, causing air to leak from the lungs. To prevent the patient from respiratory failure, doctors gave pure oxygen.
During the operation, physicians used electrocautery, a procedure that allows them to dissect soft tissue and stop bleeding from small blood vessels. It is carried out using the device electrocautery. During electrocautery, a dry surgical swab was placed in the patient’s chest cavity. After the patient began to be given pure oxygen, a spark from an electrocautery hit a tampon and it flared. The fire did not harm the man, as the doctors immediately put out the flames. Subsequently, the operation took place without incident, and the doctors successfully stitched up the patient’s aorta.
After the operation, Shaylor and her colleagues began to look for similar cases in the scientific literature and found only six. In three of them, patients underwent coronary bypass surgery, and in three – thoracic surgery. All cases were associated with the presence of dry surgical bags, electrocautery, and an increased concentration of oxygen inhaled by patients. In all cases, they had lung diseases, including COPD.
Previously, doctors told about another rare event. In a patient with chronic heart failure, hemoptysis began and he coughed up a blood clot in the form of a right bronchial tree.