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NPSA warns paraffin-based products are fire risk

Paraffin-based skin products are a potential fire risk the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has warned, following a reported death.

The NPSA has alerted healthcare staff involved in prescribing, dispensing and administration products including white soft paraffin, white soft paraffin plus 50% liquid paraffin or emulsifying ointment, which are easily ignited by naked flames or a cigarette.


Clothing, bandages, dressings and furnishings in contact with the paraffin products are also a fire risk.
The NPSA has recommended measures to avoid accidents (see box). The deadline for implementation is 26 February.


For information and supporting materials (posters, patient leaflets and videos) see www.npsa.nhs.uk/health/alerts

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