Hand sanitizer, static electricity blamed for hospital fire - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Hand sanitizer, static electricity blamed for burning girl in hospital

Ireland Lane Ireland Lane
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Investigators have confirmed static electricity and hand sanitizer caused a fire that burned an 11-year-old patient at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

Ireland Lane was left with serious burns on her body after she caught on fire in her hospital room earlier this month.

Fire investigators said olive oil coating the girl's clothes and hair made the fire worse in what they call an extremely rare accident.

Ireland, a cancer survivor, was being treated at the hospital on Feb. 2 after she bumped her head at school.

Investigators said she had been using alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean a table in her room and she rubbed some of it on her shirt.

The girl then started playing with static electricity on her bed sheets, which ignited the hand sanitizer on her shirt.

Making the situation more dangerous was the olive oil in her hair and on her shirt. Hospital workers use it to remove glue on patients left behind by electronic sensor monitors.

Oregon Health & Science University announced Wednesday it was changing policy as a result of the fire.

Olive oil will no longer be used. However, the hospital is going to continue using the hand sanitizer, with administrators saying they are confident it's a product that keeps people safe.

Ireland is set to undergo a second skin graft tomorrow for her burns.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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