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Woman’s face catches fire during routine outpatient procedure

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A Florida woman is recovering from serious burns to her face and neck after a flash fire occurred in the operating room during a procedure.

29-year-old Kim Grice of Holt, FL suffered from headaches and doctors wanted to remove three cysts from her head for biopsy.

On Tuesday, something went horribly wrong and a flash fire severely burned Grice’s head and neck during the outpatient procedure at Crestview Surgery Center in Crestview, FL.

According to The New York Daily News, Grice was not awake when the fire happened. The surgical team awoke her. Grice told the paper everyone around her was hysterical.

Her mother Ann Grice was waiting in the waiting room when emergency responders from the Crestview Fire Department arrived. She knew there was a 50/50 chance that they were there for her daughter because she knew of only one other patient at the facility.

An employee of North Okaloosa Medical Center, an affiliate of the Crestview Surgery Center, told the Crestview Bulletin that Grice had an oxygen mask on and the doctor was using a cauterizing tool when the flash fire occurred.

Emergency personnel flew Grice to the University of South Alabama Medical Center’s burn unit.

MSNBC.com reports that 650 such operating room fires happen every year across the United States, often the result of a combination of three elements: oxygen use, alcohol prep and an ignition source, such as a cauterizing tool.

Grice, a mother of three, tells the Crestview Bulletin that she is ready to kids again, but has only talked with them on the phone because she does not want them to see her burns.

“The hospital deeply regrets today’s event in which a patient sustained burns during a procedure in our ambulatory surgery center,” North Okaloosa Medical Center said in a statement. “We are conducting a thorough review to fully understand what happened in a deliberate effort to prevent such an event from occurring again. Our highest priority is always the safety of our patients.”