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OHSU to adopt additional fire safety measures in response to Oregon Fire Marshal investigation

Oregon Health & Science University is in the process of adopting new fire safety measures in its hospitals and clinics. The adjustments are being made in response to further investigation by the Oregon State Fire Marshal following a fire that burned pediatric patient Ireland Lane in early February.

The Fire Marshal’s additional investigations were completed today. The Fire Marshal did not identify specific issues that could have prevented injuries to Ireland Lane. However, it highlights areas for improvement at OHSU related to additional staff training and other measures.

Within hours of receiving the report, OHSU created an action plan. The measures were submitted and accepted by the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office.

“OHSU’s first priority at all times is the safety of our patients,” said OHSU Chief Medical Officer Chuck Kilo, M.D. “OHSU immediately responded to today’s report with a plan to comply with the practices required by the Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal’s office accepted our plan and they believe it will address the issues they identified. While our response to the Fire Marshal's investigation will be thorough, we think it’s important for the public to understand that all hospitals rely on numerous internal and external systems to ensure patient and staff safety.”

Those measures include:

  • A safety office staffed with several full-time experts trained to identify and eliminate safety issues throughout OHSU Hospitals and Clinics
  • All hospitals operate under extensive safety regulations and accreditation standards. These standards set strict nationwide guidelines to ensure the safety of patients and improve the quality of care. 
  • OHSU maintains extensive systems to prohibit practices that may cause fire risk in our health care settings. These include 24/7 public safety dispatch and response, backups for sprinkler systems, and fire response procedures with key responsibilities for each staff member.
  • OHSU conducts regularly scheduled maintenance for generators and other equipment throughout OHSU’s hospitals and clinics.
  • The Portland City Fire Marshal conducts inspections every 2 years. OHSU’s latest inspection was in February 2012.

“With these steps, we believe OHSU will remain a safe location for patients, families and visitors,” added Kilo.

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