A patient’s fart during a surgical procedure allegedly sparked a fire which caused her to be seriously burnt, the Tokyo Medical University Hospital in Shinjuku Ward said.
The incident was reported in Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
The fire occurred at the university hospital in Tokyo on April 15. The patient, in her 30s, was undergoing an operation which involved applying a laser to her cervix, the lower part of the uterus.
The laser is believed to have been ignited by the gas she passed. The fire burnt much of her body, including her waist and legs, the report said.
A committee of external experts who examined the case said in a report released on Oct 28 that no flammable materials were in the operation room during the surgery.
The woman suffered burns to much of her body, including her waist and legs, the newspaper said.
The unlikely incident prompted an entry on Snopes.com, which classified the story as “odd news.”
Flatulence contains a combination of gasses like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and methane, rendering them flammable for about a third of people, The Washington Post noted.
“It’s difficult to overstate how minuscule the chance of that normal bodily function causing a problem truly is,” the Post reported.
Still, the Post pointed out a case written about in Robert Provine’s book “Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond” where a patient undergoing colonic polyp cauterization died when a spark ignited his bowels.
Lighting farts on fire has long been seen as a juvenile prank. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage even explored the phenomenon for an episode of Discovery’s “MythBusters.”
A 12-year-old boy in the United Kingdom was taken to the hospital after suffering burns during a fart-lighting competition with his cousin in 2008, The Telegraph reported.
While the Japanese woman’s injuries are no laughing matter, the circumstances surrounding them drew attention on Twitter.
"Should we blame the matches?!
Should we blame the fire?!
Or should we blame the doctors who allowed him to expire?!
Blame the fart" pic.twitter.com/bCP0rxHkQg
— Patrick the Boo (@PatrickLeBoo) November 1, 2016
no food prior to surgery. https://t.co/R1f21Ay9rO
— Amanda Barrie (@MsAmandaBarrie) November 1, 2016
It was only a matter of time folks!
Fart Blamed for Causing a Fire During Surgery at a Tokyo Hospital https://t.co/994jqOFXvV
— joesoria (@joesoria) November 1, 2016
'Fart causes fire during surgery' – winner of the award for most outrageous headline https://t.co/sPR16sfBYZ
— Ben Nielsen (@benjnielsen) November 1, 2016
Here's a good article to bookmark the next time you think you had a bad day. https://t.co/YPJE2G6eKK
— Jeff Green (@Greenspeak) November 1, 2016
It also mentioned that the operation equipment was functioning normally.
“When the patient’s intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operation (room), it ignited with the irradiation of the laser, and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire,” the report said.