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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2013, Article ID 746430, 2 pages
Case Report

Ignition of Free Gas in the Peritoneal Cavity: An Explosive Complication

1Department of Trauma & Orthopaedics, St. Mary’s Hospital, Parkhurst Road, Isle of Wight, Newport PO30 5TG, UK
2Department of General Surgery, Dorset County Hospital, Williams Avenue, Dorset, Dorchester DT1 2JY, UK

Received 22 November 2012; Accepted 30 December 2012

Academic Editors: C. Barnett, S. de Castro, and B. Tokar

Copyright © 2013 Aadil Mumith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report an extremely rare event where the use of diathermy to enter the peritoneal cavity caused the free gas within it to ignite and consequently burn the surgeon during a standard right hemicolectomy procedure for a caecal perforation. This should be noted as a possible safety concern intraoperatively. We conclude that sharp dissection should always be used initially when entering the peritoneal cavity where free gas is present, cautery can subsequently be used once the free air has escaped.