An operating room snafu out of Japan became a viral topic because of what happened at the hospital: It seems a patient’s fart ignited a fire that left her with serious burns during surgery. The incident took place at Tokyo Medical Center. A laser was being used on the cervix of a woman in her 30s when she farted, according to a newly released assessment of the April incident released by the hospital.
All equipment was operating normally, leading a panel to conclude that the woman’s gas ignited the laser. The hospital report states:
“When the patient’s intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operation (room), it ignited with the irradiation of the laser, and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire”.
The resulting fire from the fart burned much of the patient’s body, but no further detail was provided about her condition.
The Washington Post explains that it’s the methane and hydrogen in a person’s gas that makes it potentially flammable, though “it’s difficult to overstate how minuscule the chance of that normal bodily function causing a problem truly is.”