Gaithersburg: 301-670-7030
Baltimore: 410-769-5400
Frederick: 301-668-2100
Contact Us For Legal Help

Surgical Fires

Surgical Fires are caused by heat, fuel and an oxidizer. When these three elements come together in certain amounts, a fire will occur. Each of these elements can be found in an operating room.

  • Heat is created in an operating room by overhead lights, drills, surgical lasers, and other equipment. Sparks are generated many times.
  • Fuels, such as alcohol, surgical preps, open bottles with liquid flammable solutions, and certain ointments abound. Linens, mattresses, dressings and protective clothing are also a fertile fuel source.
  • Oxidizers are always present from anesthesia, supplemental oxygen, and other sources.

If a fire occurs, it is often devastating to the patient because of its intensity and proximity. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) issued a bulletin in 2003 about surgical fires and recently estimated that there are approximately 600-700 surgical fires a year that cause up to 20 serious injuries and several fatalities. Many fires are out quickly and are therefore not reported, so the number of instances is actually a great deal more than reported.

Surgical fires are easily prevented. The key is to manage heat sources. However, fuel sources should be kept at a minimum by allowing time for vapors, gasses and oxygen concentrations to dissipate, and by checking to make sure volatile fluids have not pooled – especially under the patient. Efforts must also be made to minimize concentrations of oxygen by vigilantly checking for open sources and ventilating them with drapes tented around the patients head when open sources must be used.

Ken Berman, a founding partner of the firm, has perhaps more experience representing victims of surgical fires than any other attorney. He successfully has taken cases to both verdict and settlement and defended it in the Courts, resulting in substantial recoveries for our clients. If you are a victim, or an attorney who needs assistance with a surgical fire case, please do not hesitate to contact Ken at 301-670-7030 or 800-827-2667.

What Our Clients Say

Known for our unwavering commitment to clients, for our integrity, and for delivering the best results, our clients continue to refer their friends, families and neighbors to us for their legal needs.

"One year ago today I made the call to your office. The best decision I could make. I wanted to share with you how impressed I am with your staff and your professionalism."

Heather P.

"Craig did a great job representing me! He's the lawyer I have trusted with my legal needs because he's professional, knowledgeable, and keeps me informed about my case."

Jaclyn K.

" wanted to thank you, in writing, for your kindness and prompt response. Customer service is a dying art, and you gave me hope for my family."


"I would like to express my gratitude for your efforts and dedication for my disability case. It's has been quite a long and upsetting process but you have handled my case in an extremely competent and responsible manner."

Leo H.

"I have recommended Mr. Feldman to several of my friends and colleagues and have heard nothing but excellent reviews. He is the best lawyer I have ever used."


"I received the check today. I could not believe it until I saw the check. Thank you so much. You have improved my family's quality of life tenfold."

Mike F.

"These guys go above and beyond! They always have your best interest in mind."

Mike W.

"I would like to express my thanks to Amanda Knott and Gretchen Rogers for their patience with me through my ordeal with my workers comp claim. I was impressed from the very beginning when I spoke with G. Rogers on the phone and although she did not have to, she met with me personally and walked me through the steps of what to expect in this process."

Mr Sagal

"You have been kind throughout this process and I appreciate your professionalism as well as your gentle concern. Thanks for helping us and all the others who need your legal expertise. We are grateful."

Nancy F.

"Thanks to Mr. Shultz's aggressive and professional work ethic style I was able to receive the medical services and compensation pertaining to my case."

Navdeep C.

"I can honestly say this firm is simply TOP NOTCH! They not only have handled countless cases for my members that require their services, they also have gone well beyond their "scope" to help some of my folks in other areas of need. "

Rick H.

"I wanted to compliment your law firm on having Amanda Knott as a paralegal. She worked tirelessly for almost 2 years making sure I understood what was happening and at the same time keeping all my records straight and in order, which allowed Gretchen Rogers to represent me in the best way possibl"

Terrye G

"The attention and professional care the staff has taken toward my needs has always been excellent. I have no complaints nor worries that my issues discussed are not addressed."

Tim T.

"I just got off the phone with Craig and let him know how thankful we are to you, him and Ken for all your efforts – you are all really terrific to work with!"

Val K.

Locations Throughout Maryland & Washington DC

Gaithersburg Office

481 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
301-670-7030 / 800-248-3352
Fax: 301-670-9492

Lutherville Office

1301 York Road, Suite 600
Lutherville, MD 21093
410-769-5400 / 800-248-3352
Fax: 410-769-9200

Frederick Office

30 W. Patrick Street, Suite 105
Frederick, MD 21701
301-668-2100 / 800-827-2667
Fax: 301-668-2000