Romanian woman dies after catching fire during operation

11:21 PM | 30 Dec, 2019
Romanian woman dies after catching fire during operation

BUCHAREST – A woman has died after being set on fire during a hospital operation in Romania, the health ministry said Monday, in a case which has cast a spotlight on the ailing health system. 

The pancreatic cancer patient died Sunday after suffering burns to 40 percent of her body when surgeons used an electrical scalpel despite her being treated with an alcohol-based disinfectant.

Contact with the flammable disinfectant caused combustion and the patient "ignited like a torch", lawmaker Emanuel Ungureanu said on his Facebook page, citing medical staff at the capital's Floreasca urgent care hospital.

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A nurse threw a bucket of water onto the 66-year-old Romanian to prevent the December 22 fire from spreading.

The health ministry vowed to investigate the "unfortunate incident".