Florida woman's face catches fire during cyst surgery

December 2, 2011 

A Florida woman’s face caught on fire during surgery to remove cysts from her head, according to authorities.

Kim Grice was on the operating table at a North Florida hospital when a “flash fire” erupted during her surgery. Grice, 29, suffered second-degree burns to her face and neck, according to the Destin Log.

Grice was under anesthesia at the time of the fire, her family said.

She was taken to a burn center in Alabama after the fire at North Okaloosa Medical Center in Northwest Florida.

Hospital officials have not said how the fire started, according to news reports.

“We are conducting a thorough review to fully understand what happened in a deliberate effort to prevent such an event from occurring again,” the hospital said in a news release.

The patient’s mother can’t understand what happened.

"I am in shock,” Ann Grice told the Crestview Bulletin. “This is not what happens with a routine outpatient surgery."

"She had headaches and the doctor was going to remove three cysts and biopsy them but something went bad wrong and my daughter is now in a burn unit with burn specialists and I still do not know what happened. No one will tell me why or how this happened to her."

Crestview firefighters responded to the surgical flash fire on Tuesday morning, said Battalion Chief Marquis Johnson. Kim Grice is the mother of three small children.

“Her eyes were too swollen for her to see me when I had visiting time,” her mother said. “She is just nauseated and I think, in shock. We all are.”

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