Medical procedure sets 66-year-old Romanian woman on fire

A 66-year-old Romanian woman died  after being set on fire during a hospital operation in Romania, the health ministry said Monday.

The woman suffering from pancreatic cancer died 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.

A nurse threw a bucket of water onto the woman to prevent the December 22 fire from spreading.

The health ministry vowed to investigate the “unfortunate incident”.

“The surgeons should have been aware that it is prohibited to use an alcohol-based disinfectant during surgical procedures performed with an electric scalpel,” deputy minister Horatiu Moldovan said.

The victim’s family said the medical staff had spoken of an “accident” but declined to offer details.