Flaming hand sanitizer

A couple of months ago a 12-year-old cancer patient at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital was involved in a freak accident in the hospital in which she suffered severe burns. The fire was caused by a “perfect storm” of ingredients that included olive oil, hand sanitizer, and static electricity.

Initially Stephen Lane, the patient’s father, had stated he did not plan to sue the hospital; he acknowledged it was a tragic accident and felt she had received good care as a cancer patient at Doernbecher. Since the accident, however, more scrutiny has been placed on Doernbecher and OHSU’s fire safety policies, and some believe they have fallen short. The fire marshal’s investigation ruled that the medical staff at Doernbecher did not have proper fire safety training, but hospital representatives argue that the report did not hold Doernbecher responsible for the fire.

Lane is dismayed that the staff was not properly trained. In addition, there have been unexpected medical expenses as a result of the burns. Lane is now hiring a Portland attorney and plans to file a lawsuit against Doernbecher and the manufacturer of the hand sanitizer.