A woman in Japan accidentally set herself — and the hospital — on fire after she broke wind during her surgery.
The incident occurred in April 15 at the Tokyo Medical University Hospital, but the unusual details surfaced just recently after an investigation into the case, according to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. The woman, who remains unnamed, was described as being in her 30s. She was undergoing surgery on the lower part of her uterus.
In a bizarre turn of events, the woman passed gas just as a laser was being applied to her cervix. It caused a fire to erupt, which engulfed her legs, hospital gown and the surgical drapes. The unfortunate woman was burned badly during the incident, but survived. The hospital staff fortunately managed to avoid any injury.
The investigation report released last week revealed there were no flammable materials in the hospital and all instruments were functioning normally as well.
The report reached the conclusion that “When the patient's intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operating room, it ignited with the irradiation of the laser and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire.”
Fire is actually possible with flatus, as it is made up of hydrogen and methane gas, both of which are highly inflammable.
Moreover, this is not the first time a patient has accidentally lit themselves on fire, according to a Reddit user.
“Surgeon's Assistant here, this happens. Not the first instance of it in a long time either. I worked with a Russian General surgeon who was exceptionally impatient; he used electrocautery on a patient’s large intestine, igniting the gas therein, causing an intraoperative fire. While being told by his partner to not use electrocautery, he screamed, ‘Just f***** cut it!!!’ Spark! Boom!”
Reddit being anonymous, there is no way to confirm if this person was joking.