December 29, 2011
At around 5:00 pm firefighters from Portland Fire Station 7 (Mill Park) responded to a burn call at 12530 S.E Powell. Upon arrival, firefighters found a male patient who was suffering from burns to his face.
According to the patient's wife, she heard a noise in the bathroom and when she entered the room, she found her husband in severe pain. The nasal cannula that was attached to his face to deliver his supplemental oxygen was on fire. She immediately left the room, shut off the oxygen flow, and called 9-1-1. The patient told firefighters that he was smoking a cigarette just prior to the fire starting. He suffered burns to his face, nose, and lungs. The patient was transported to the Oregon Burn Center for treatment. A Fire Investigator was called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.
"If you use oxygen or if you live in a household where someone uses supplemental oxygen, you should never smoke anywhere near the equipment. Doing so puts you and others in considerable danger," said Portland Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Duane Bray.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that between 2003 and 2006, hospitals treated an estimated 1,190 people for burns related to home oxygen use. Eighty-nine percent of those treated suffered facial burns. This is the second time this month that Portland Fire & Rescue has responded to a burn patient who was smoking while using medical oxygen. This month's earlier incident resulted in a woman's death.
Portland Fire & Rescue