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11 year-old hospital patient catches fire

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#1 Hum

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 23:55

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- State investigators are now looking into a fire that badly burned an 11-year-old patient at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

Ireland Lane, a cancer survivor, was at the hospital for an unrelated head injury Feb. 2.

She was reportedly making an art project for the nurses at Doernbecher's, and minutes later her body caught fire.

Fortunately, Lane was able to run to some nurses outside of her room, who smothered the flames. She was then transferred over to the burn unit at Legacy Emanuel.

Lane's family claims she had just used the hospital's hand sanitizer to clean up after her art project, and they believe that could somehow be to blame.

The hospital says their immediate investigation turned up no clear cause. Administrators say there was no access to an open flame in her room that could have ignited the hand sanitizer, a product which is typically made up of more than 60-percent alcohol.

Studies have shown certain conditions in an oxygen-rich environment could also cause sanitizer to catch fire, but the hospital says that did not exist in Lane's room either.

The State Fire Marshall's office has not yet confirmed what started the fire, and the hospital says hand sanitizer is vital to the care of patients.

"Hand sanitizer saves lives, and it saves lives each and every day," said Oregon Health and Science University's Dr. Stacy Nicholson. "We have not made any changes at this point, but if the investigation says we need to, we certainly will do that right away."

"This was an absolutely tragic event. When I got the page, I was horrified. I can't believe this would happen anywhere, much less our own hospital. Our hearts go out to the child and her family," said Nicholson.

The State Fire Marshall's office expects to release results of its investigation this week.

Meanwhile, Lane remains in serious condition at Legacy Emanuel.

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#2 xendrome

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 23:57

Posted Image

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 00:18

I suspect SHC.

God bless her, anyway.

#4 Growled

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:24

Maybe it is a case of spontaneous combustion, like Hum said.

#5 jjkusaf

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:37

SHC...involving just the skin? :/ Come on now.

Poor girl.. Cancer survivor...admitted for a head injury and then catches on fire. Hopefully all her bad luck is out of the way now and she can live a normal life.

#6 OP Hum

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:57

^ SHC starts on the skin -- in some cases it was put out before it could do much damage.

#7 Davo

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:33

I couldn't help but laugh at how ****ing ****ty this girl's luck is. In all seriousness, I hope she lives a much better life from now on.

#8 +-T-

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:43

Maybe she's meant to be dead, I mean sounds like she's constantly on the way to death

#9 The_Decryptor

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:45

I suspect SHC.

God bless her, anyway.


Maybe she annoyed a leprechaun, because that's just as likely.

#10 DocM

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:16

No SHC necessary - chemistry & physics 101 are all that's required.

Alcohol in the sanitizer (usually ethanol or 2-propanol) vaporizes in a likely too low humidity environment. Take that alcohol - air (20%+ O2) mix and add a spark of static electricity (synthetic carpeting or a polymer floor finish + patient booties or rubber wheelchair rims rubbing same) and POOF; a flashover.That flash ignites what alcohol is left unvaporized on her skin.

How likely is such a spark? VERY! When I was in the PARC (rehabilitation center) after my leg amputation running a wheelchair a few yards on a finished wood floor then reaching out to press an elevator button often resulted in a quite nice spark. Sometimes a painful one.

Keep the humidity up and such charges disperse as soon as they form.

#11 Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:37

Toasty!



#12 AsherGZ

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:35

Maybe she's meant to be dead, I mean sounds like she's constantly on the way to death


Or maybe it's the other way round. Maybe she's meant to live and in spite of death constantly staring her in the face, she always comes out victorious and stronger than ever. I won't be surprised if she gets to live a hundred and twenty years, long after the rest of us are dead.

#13 OP Hum

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 22:30

Maybe she annoyed a leprechaun, because that's just as likely.


How very scientific of you. :laugh: