Hand Sanitizer suspected in girl's burn injuries

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posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 07:05 PM
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11 year old Ireland Lane was at the hospital after hitting her head at school and losing consciousness. She was due to leave the hospital the day of the fire. The last thing she recalls that day is using sanitizer to clean the table that rolled over her bed, where she had painted a wooden box as a gift for her nurses. Ireland's father recalls that before the fire, she was playing, making static electricity with the sheets on her bed. He’d never heard of that being a danger, let alone causing a fire.

The sanitizers that most hospitals use contain 60% alcohol in them, which is what they suspect might have caused the fire when triggered by static electricity, while it was still wet.


No one apart from Ireland saw the fire start and investigators' initial examination unearthed no clear cause. But the girl's father says investigators told him an alcohol-based hand sanitizer from a wall-mounted dispenser is the only thing that makes sense.

If a large amount of sanitizer was used on the table, and Ireland wiped her hands on her shirt, it could explain the Doernbecher fire, Bruley speculated. ECRI has warned health professionals to avoid sparks by making sure hands are dry before touching devices or hand linens. But Bruley says the risk is so small, most people don't need to worry. It can take 20 seconds or more for sanitizer to evaporate, according to ECRI testing. After the gel or foam disappears, it doesn't generate flammable vapor.


She was taken to intensive care, then to Legacy Oregon Burn Center. She suffered third-degree burns from just above her belly button to her chin as well as parts of her arms and the bottom of her earlobes. Her hair also caught on fire, her father says. Ireland's second skin graft surgery is scheduled for Thursday – her 12th birthday. Her prognosis is good, though it may be a year before they know if cosmetic surgery is required.

The final report for the investigation will not be ready until later next week.

Portland hospital fire investigated; hand sanitizer link suspected in girl's injuries

What really is sad and heartbreaking about all this, she is also a cancer survivor. Ireland was diagnosed with a rare childhood kidney cancer while visiting relatives in Tennessee in 2007, and then spent the next five years there undergoing treatment. With dozens of surgeries, three rounds of chemotherapy, one of radiation therapy and stem-cell treatment, she beat the cancer twice. Her family recently returned to Oregon.

May the Angels be with you, young Lady, and give you strength.
Good luck in your recovery~



edit on 20-2-2013 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 07:11 PM
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Good Grief, that is awful. That sounds plausible I had never considered the flammability of hand sanitizer my household uses it constantly. With the dryness of winter we have a ton of static build up in house. I will have to look in to that.
That poor girl and her family God Bless them



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 07:18 PM
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Well, when you think about it, hand sanitizer is sort of a weak version of sterno.

I think this would be an interesting topic for Mythbusters (or someone else qualified) to test. Just how flamable is this sanitizer stuff that is popping up all over the place? What does it take to set that stuff on fire?

I swear that stuff can't be good for people in the long term.
edit on 20-2-2013 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by byGRACE
Good Grief, that is awful. That sounds plausible I had never considered the flammability of hand sanitizer my household uses it constantly. With the dryness of winter we have a ton of static build up in house. I will have to look in to that.
That poor girl and her family God Bless them


Once the hand cleaner dries, it's supposed to be okay [safe].
But evidently the young girl must have rubbed a lot on the table for it to not get dry and ignite from static. Plus her clothes themselves are not flame retardant like the hospital bedding is ....


Some have claimed that this has happened at gas pumps too......very rare thank goodness.
Supposedly you should touch something once you get out of the car before you grab the pump to prevent static.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by snarky412

Originally posted by byGRACE
Good Grief, that is awful. That sounds plausible I had never considered the flammability of hand sanitizer my household uses it constantly. With the dryness of winter we have a ton of static build up in house. I will have to look in to that.
That poor girl and her family God Bless them


Once the hand cleaner dries, it's supposed to be okay [safe].
But evidently the young girl must have rubbed a lot on the table for it to not get dry and ignite from static. Plus her clothes themselves are not flame retardant like the hospital bedding is ....


Some have claimed that this has happened at gas pumps too......very rare thank goodness.
Supposedly you should touch something once you get out of the car before you grab the pump to prevent static.


It's funny you bring up gas pumps....I worked for Shell and they warned all employees to take of uniforms slowly after a shift and avoid washing for up to 24 hours to let it air out. But that was because of the heavy fumes left by gas and gas residues. Im not sure how soaking wet that sanitizer would have to be to ignite from static electricity. Im sure the fumes couldn't be as flammable could they?



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by topherman420

Originally posted by snarky412

Originally posted by byGRACE
Good Grief, that is awful. That sounds plausible I had never considered the flammability of hand sanitizer my household uses it constantly. With the dryness of winter we have a ton of static build up in house. I will have to look in to that.
That poor girl and her family God Bless them


Once the hand cleaner dries, it's supposed to be okay [safe].
But evidently the young girl must have rubbed a lot on the table for it to not get dry and ignite from static. Plus her clothes themselves are not flame retardant like the hospital bedding is ....


Some have claimed that this has happened at gas pumps too......very rare thank goodness.
Supposedly you should touch something once you get out of the car before you grab the pump to prevent static.


It's funny you bring up gas pumps....I worked for Shell and they warned all employees to take of uniforms slowly after a shift and avoid washing for up to 24 hours to let it air out. But that was because of the heavy fumes left by gas and gas residues. Im not sure how soaking wet that sanitizer would have to be to ignite from static electricity. Im sure the fumes couldn't be as flammable could they?


I believe the static ignited the alcohol content [60%] that was still wet.

Actually, I believe they have warnings posted on some gas pumps about static electricity as well as cell phone use....shouldn't use a cell phone while pumping gas, but........well, you know, most do. HA!!
I always leave the phone in the truck any way and I prepay [cash] so no static by the time I come back out.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:08 PM
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So Ironic that the one thing that pathogens are controlled with, are the same thing that can cause a possible lethal situation of burning to death.

I would imagine one would have to find the stats and if more people die from the fires, or more people die from lack of alcohol based germ killer.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by snarky412
 


I was gong to bring up the static at the pumps. The cell phone thing is sort of untrue. Even in the right conditions the Mythbusters could not get it to ignite the fumes, if I recall correctly.



The static comig from your hand though is a problem. The best way to get past this is to discharge yourself before grabbing the nozzle to put it back. You really only get the problem when getting back into the car in when it is cold to stay warm and then getting out when the pump is finished.

Raist





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