Mysterious fire badly burns Doernbecher patient - KPTV - FOX 12

Hand sanitizer investigated in child burn case at hospital

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Ireland Lane Ireland Lane

State investigators are now looking into a fire that badly burned an 11-year-old patient at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

Ireland Lane, a cancer survivor, was at the hospital for an unrelated head injury Feb. 2.

She was reportedly making an art project for the nurses at Doernbecher's, and minutes later her body caught fire.

Fortunately, Lane was able to run to some nurses outside of her room, who smothered the flames. She was then transferred over to the burn unit at Legacy Emanuel.

Lane's family claims she had just used the hospital's hand sanitizer to clean up after her art project, and they believe that could somehow be to blame.

The hospital says their immediate investigation turned up no clear cause. Administrators say there was no access to an open flame in her room that could have ignited the hand sanitizer, a product which is typically made up of more than 60-percent alcohol.

Studies have shown certain conditions in an oxygen-rich environment could also cause sanitizer to catch fire, but the hospital says that did not exist in Lane's room either.

The State Fire Marshall's office has not yet confirmed what started the fire, and the hospital says hand sanitizer is vital to the care of patients.

"Hand sanitizer saves lives, and it saves lives each and every day," said Oregon Health and Science University's Dr. Stacy Nicholson. "We have not made any changes at this point, but if the investigation says we need to, we certainly will do that right away."

"This was an absolutely tragic event. When I got the page, I was horrified. I can't believe this would happen anywhere, much less our own hospital. Our hearts go out to the child and her family," said Nicholson.

The State Fire Marshall's office expects to release results of its investigation this week.

Meanwhile, Lane remains in serious condition at Legacy Emanuel.

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