Fire in the OR™ virtual reality simulation now available

Published January 20, 2022


Healthcare systems can now safely simulate surgical fires and more effectively train clinicians on patient fire safety with Fire in the OR™ Virtual Reality Simulation

Health Scholars has launched the first commercially available VR training simulation for operating room fire prevention and management. Each year 550 to 600 surgical fires are reported, resulting in dozens of serious injury cases, and 1 to 2 patient deaths[1]. Surgical fires are among the top medical errors, but clinical training is often limited to traditional reading or didactic courses which do not provide learners the opportunity to practice key fire safety skills. With Fire in the OR organizations can now provide clinicians experiential fire safety training in as little as 20 minutes, and scale simulation across a large healthcare system.

Scene from Fire in The OR of patient fire simulation


“Training for OR fire emergencies in fully immersive virtual reality environments may be the ideal training modality” [2]

Fire in The OR is a room-scale VR application for the HTC Vive Pro headset designed to simulate key scenarios related to a surgical fire. The application consists of three modules:


Developed for non-gamer professionals, the tutorial teaches learners to interact in VR and provides the opportunity to practice skills required to interact with the environment.


The fire triad is a core concept in understanding and preventing operating room fires. Learners explore the room and identify the elements of the fire triad. A detailed, interactive debriefing is provided to reinforce the concept.


Learners practice the skills needed to manage and extinguish a fire on a patient via a rich simulation. After a structured, interactive debriefing, learners explore the root cause of the fire to understand how the fire could have been prevented. A recent study on VR training showed a 250% improvement in managing an operating room fire when learners practiced in VR versus traditional reading or lecture[3]. Fire in the OR provides an unmatched level of realism, delivering rich simulation efficiently, cost effectively and at scale. Fire in the OR can help organizations train better and truly address a critical patient safety issue.

“Humans learn best through experience. Virtual reality enables clinical staff to practice competencies in real-world, risk-free settings while enabling instructors to see decisions and how they then react to the consequences. VR finally affords the healthcare sector a mechanism for scaling high-impact experiential training across an organization and geographic distances.” – Brian Gillett, Chief Medical Officer, Health Scholars

Learn more about the benefits of virtual reality training or watch our Fire in The OR video. Submit a form to get in touch with the Health Scholars team and learn about our virtual reality medical training product suites, ranging from Labor & DeliveryOperating RoomEmergency Care, & more.

[1] Mehta, Sonya. P. et al.  “Operating Room Fires:  A Closed Claims Analysis.” The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc. Perioperative Medicine. May 2013

[2] Dorozhkin, D; Olasky, J; Jones, DB, et al. “OR fire virtual training simulator: design and face validity.” Surgical Endoscopy, Sept. 2017, 31(9): p. 3263.

[3] Sankaranarayanan et al, “Immersive Virtual Reality Based Training Improves Responsive In Simulated Operating Room Fire Scenario” Surgical Endoscopy, January 2018

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