Fire in the OR

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Fire in the OR VR Simulation.

Published On: October 22, 2022Categories: Operating Room VR

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Application Overview

Operating room (OR) fires are an ever present risk to patients, staff and organizations. Education for all clinical staff is necessary to ensure appropriate levels of awareness and knowledge of hospital procedures in order to hopefully prevent a fire, or respond quickly should a fire arise.

Scenario Information

Fire in the OR is a room-scale virtual reality (VR) simulation designed to reinforce the Fire Triad, and simulate key scenarios related to surgical fires.

Fire in the OR consists of three course modules:

Tutorial: Many learners will be new to VR. Health Scholars invested significant time in building Fire in the OR for non-gamer professionals. The tutorial teaches learners to interact in VR and provides opportunity to practice skills required to interact with the environment.

Fire Triad: 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.

Patient Fire: Learners will practice the skills needed to manage and extinguish a fire on a patient. After a structured, interactive debriefing, learners will explore the root cause of the fire to understand how this fire could have been prevented.

Patient History

The patient is a 61-year-old female with no remarkable medical history. The incision site has been prepped with an alcohol-based agent and oxygen will be administered during the procedure. The surgeon will be using an electrosurgical pencil for dissection.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify fire risks 
  • Safely practice key skills 
  • Understand the causes of operating room fires


“ECRI Institute New Clinical Guide to Surgical Fire Prevention.” Health Devices, October 2009 – Mehta, SP; Bhananker, SM; Posner, K.L; et al, “Operating Room Fires: A Closed Claim Analysis,” Anesthesiology, May 2013.

Rosenfeld J, “Hospital and Doctors Found Liable for Surgical Fire that Left Women Speechless”, Personal Injury New & Developments, April 2015

“Practice Advisory for the Prevention and Management of Operating Room Fires,” Anesthesiology, V118*No 2, February 2013. See “Advisories” on p 274

“AORN Guidance Statement: Fire Prevention in the Operating Room,” AORN, 2005.p.1

“Recommendations to Reduce to Reduce Surgical Fires and Related Patient Injury: FDA Safety Communication,” US Food & Drug Administration, May 29, 2018

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