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Burns. 2000 Dec;26(8):757-9.

Iatrogenic burn caused by an alcohol lamp.

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Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Iatrogenic injury is an intrinsic risk of all medical procedures. Various kinds of iatrogenic complications have been extensively reported and recognized. Two patients were referred to the Prince of Wales Hospital for iatrogenic flame burn caused by the breakage of an alcohol lamp during ENT examination. They were 8 and 9 years old and sustained 12 and 17% intermediate to deep dermal burns respectively. There was no eye or inhalation injury. They were treated initially at the referring hospital. Despite having the best possible treatment, the parents were hostile to and demanding of the medical attendants and the patients were uncooperative throughout the whole treatment period. Rehabilitation of the two children was jeopardized. The situation was very difficult when they were first seen at the Prince of Wales Hospital. The burn surgeon at the Prince of Wales Hospital, as a third party, managed to act as a bridge between the referring hospital and the patients and their families. Several meetings were held and the best interests of the two patients was addressed. The compensation issue was also settled without formal legal prosecution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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