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Reducing fire and burn risk in the operating room—testing of a novel device



Burn injury and operating room fires are significant risks for both surgical patients and staff. The purpose of this study was to examine the fire and burn risks associated with two types of fiberoptic light cables and evaluate the efficacy of a novel device in reducing the risk of these fire and burn injuries.


A 300-W light source was connected sequentially to two standard fiberoptic cables (Storz and Olympus). The distal ends were buried in, or rested on, standard operating room materials including a cotton green towel and a blue propylene drape to assess the risk of fire formation or burn injury. The Gloshield device was then attached to the ends of the cables and the experiment was repeated. Trials simulating improper use of the device were then conducted with the Gloshield device placed either too deep or too shallow on the end of the light cable. All trials were conducted for a maximum of 10 min or until a positive result (burn or fire) was achieved. Trials were conducted in room air or with supplemental 100% oxygen and repeated for accuracy.


Both the Storz and Olympus fiber optic cables were capable of producing burns in standard operating room towels and drapes in control trials. The Gloshield device prevented thermal injury when properly attached in all conditions. Improper use trials demonstrated that the device may be ineffective when not applied properly.


The Gloshield device is effective in reducing the risk of thermal burn injury by protecting the distal ends of endoscopic light cables from operating room materials. However, the device needs to be attached appropriately in order to provide protective benefits.

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Correspondence to Soham Roy.

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Jackson Medical provided the Gloshield devices and laboratory space for the testing involved in this paper. They had no input into the research design, testing, data analysis, writing or editing of this manuscript. They have not seen this submitted article. Soham Roy, Katherine Yu, Mark Knackstedt, Nathaniel Webb, and Lee Smith have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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This article was updated to correct the organization name “ERCI” to “ECRI” in two instances.

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Roy, S., Yu, K.M., Knackstedt, M.I. et al. Reducing fire and burn risk in the operating room—testing of a novel device. Surg Endosc 35, 6969–6976 (2021).

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  • Fire safety
  • Fire hazard
  • Fiberoptic cable
  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Operating room fire
  • Burn injury