A Japanese woman has been badly burned after the gas she passed during surgery was ignited by a laser, it has been revealed.
The woman in her 30s was undergoing an operation at Tokyo Medical University Hospital, which involved a laser being used on her cervix.
As she passed gas it was ignited by the laser, causing a blaze, which caught on her surgical drape and spread over her skin.
The woman was left screaming as most of her body was burnt, particularly from the waist down, according to The Asahi Shimbun.
Although the incident happened back in April it has only just come to light, and the current condition of the woman is unknown.
An external committee looked into the incident, and released a report on its findings last week.
The committee concluded that the equipment did not malfunction at any point during the operation. It said: “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.”
However, it is surprising that the accident happened as only around one-third of people produce combustible levels of methane in their gas, according to author Robert Provine.