NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A Bronx man claims that he was badly burned during surgery at Lincoln Hospital. Enrique Ruiz and his family told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano that they want answers.
From his hospital bed in Far Rockaway , Queens Ruiz described the unbelievable experience at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx that occurred several weeks ago and left him badly burned.
“I was already breathing when they do this part of the procedure when I got burned, and this wasn’t supposed to happen at all,” he said.
1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports
His brother told CBS 2 that Ruiz was in the hospital to undergo two procedures for lung problems. The first procedure was to insert a breathing tube, the second was to replace the temporary tube.
It was during the second procedure that Amauri Ruiz said his brother was burned.
“How could this happen, how could he catch fire? Because they never explained it to me,” he said.
The burns were oxygen related, suffered when an explosion happened during the procedure, according to the hospital.
Ruiz said that it feels like his chest is on fire.
“I caught on fire with oxygen, but I knew nothing about it. When i woke up I feel this burning sensation on my chest. My brother said what’s this? And nobody gave me an answer, then somebody said that it was an oxygen burn,” said Ruiz .
CBS 2 reached out to the City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation and to Lincoln Hospital, both said that they were unable to comment.
The State Health Department told CBS 2 that “we were made aware of it and we’re looking into it. We will look at patient safety and make sure that proper safety procedures were followed.”
Ruiz is currently in St John’s Hospital, where he is being treated for more breathing problems, but questions about his burns remain unanswered.
“I don’t think anyone should get burned,” he said.
Oxygen itself is not flammable however, it can spread a fire if one is sparked by something else. While surgery mishaps do occur, experts told CBS 2 that this type of accident is extremely rare.
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