Woman catches fire during hemorrhoid operation

Sweden's welfare board has criticized a hospital in Stockholm after a 40-year-old woman caught fire during a hemorrhoid operation, Aftonbladet reports.

While the woman’s piles were successfully removed by doctors at Ersta Hospital, she ended up leaving the surgery in September with a partially burned backside.

In addition to the hemorrhoids, the woman was also in hospital to have a lump removed with the aid of electrosurgery. The accident took place after a nurse had cleaned the woman’s skin with an antiseptic solution.

With some of the highly flammable liquid having trickled under the woman’s body, the patient caught fire when staff switched on the electrical current and began operating.

By the time the nurse succeeded in putting out the fire, the woman had been left with three red burn marks. She later made several return visits to the hospital in order to be treated for her new injuries.

The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has now ordered the hospital to draft a set of written procedures to ensure that patients are not exposed to similar risks in future.