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Man Left Scarred for Life after his Stomach Bursts into Flames on the Operating Table

Paul Hill, 43, from Stockton-on-Tees was burned after an alcohol-based body steriliser burst into flames while he was under general anaesthetic in an operating theatre at Stockton's University Hospital of North Tees.

 

The father-of-four is now awaiting answers from an internal investigation by hospital bosses into how the incident happened.

It was only after his operation that Mr Hill was told the shocking news that his stomach had caught fire when a solution used to clean the skin ignited.

He said: 'I didn't even know it was possible. When they told me I didn't know what to think.

'I had only just come around and told my wife what had happened. She didn't believe me - thinking it was the drugs.'

Paul Hill, 43, has been left scarred for life after his stomach caught fire during an operation
Paul Hill, 43, has been left scarred for life after his stomach caught fire during an operation

His wife Tracy, 42, added: 'He said to me "I have been set on fire". He was high on morphine so I didn't believe him at first.

'But a nurse in the room said he was being serious. It was scary.'

The operation during which the blaze happened came during a long-running battle with ill health.

Mr Hill was diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis in November 2012.

The inherited condition causes numerous polyps to form, mainly in the large intestine.

These can develop into colon cancer if untreated.

As a result, Mr Hill underwent surgery to remove part of his digestive system.

A side effect of this is that hernias can develop and he had to have an operation on a hernia in February this year.

But problems persisted and he went into hospital again on March 19, which is when the operating room fire occurred.

The experience has also worried the couple's son McKenzie.

The 11-year-old has been diagnosed with the same condition as his father and may face similar surgery in the future.

'He has seen me go through it all - all the surgeries and now this,' said Mr Hill, a clerical assistant at Morrisons.

The ordeal has left Mr Hill with scars on the right side of his stomach.

He also requires a district nurse every day to change his bandages.

'I just think what more can you take,' said Mrs Hill.

'You get through one thing, then there is something else.'

Mr Hill added: 'I just hope they learn from what has happened to me because it could have been fatal.

A spokesperson for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: 'We take incidents like this extremely seriously. A thorough investigation into what happened and what can be put in place to prevent this happening again has almost been concluded.'

 

Source: Mail Online

 

 

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About The Operating Theatre Journal

The Operating Theatre Journal, OTJ, is published monthly and distributed to every hospital operating theatre department in the UK. The distribution includes both the National Health Service and the Private Sector.

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