Pregnant Israeli woman set on fire in hospital accident

A PREGNANT Israeli woman who was about to have a baby by Caesarean was accidentally set on fire by a surgeon.

Details of the incident – which occurred in an operating room at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, near Tel Aviv, in 2008 – emerged during an investigation by the Israeli health ministry, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

The woman was initially swabbed with an alcohol solution ahead of the procedure, but when she entered the operating theatre, the surgeon asked that a nurse repeat the procedure.

The surgeon then began to cut her open with a diathermic needle, but the implement, which uses an electrical current, emitted a spark which set the alcohol solution alight, engulfing the woman in flames.

After putting out the fire and bandaging the woman, the staff continued the operation, the newspaper reported.

The woman suffered massive burns, however she delivered a healthy baby boy.

Since then, the woman has had skin grafts to her buttocks and thighs, as well as plastic surgery.

A health ministry investigation found that both the surgeon and the nurse shared responsibility for the operating error.

The medical centre said that it had learned the lessons of the incident, and that it had offered the woman “optimal care until she recovered.”

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