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Hand sanitiser–fuelled fire performance and thermal injury: case report
  1. Samantha T Murphy1 and
  2. Leopoldo C Cancio2
  1. 1F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  2. 2US Army Burn Center, US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Leopoldo C Cancio; divego99{at}


A 23-year-old man presented to our burn center after sustaining a 62.5% total body surface area burn during a fire performance, in which he applied alcohol-based hand sanitiser to his body and ignited it. The patient underwent 6 operations at this facility and was discharged after 41 days. Fire-performance art is a growing pastime and profession. This case demonstrates the hazards of using hand sanitiser during such activities.

  • plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • adult intensive care
  • trauma
  • wound care
  • public health

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  • Contributors Both authors (STM, LCC) contributed to the study design, acquisition and interpretation of data. STM drafted the manuscript and LCC revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. Both authors gave final approval of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.