Lithium batteries are well-known for their ability to spontaneously ignite or to explode. Lithium batteries are in many medical devices.

Device with lithium batteries that have caught fire or exploded include:

(1) cell phones

(2) e-cigarettes

(3) implanted defibrillator


During Thanksgiving in 2022 a patient died after a defibrillator exploded while the patient was undergoing resuscitation. This caused an explosion with extensive burns to the head, face and upper torso. While the precise is still under investigation, there is a good chance that the defibrillator contained one or more lithium batteries.


The events may be fatal if:

(1) there are severe burns in a vulnerable patient

(2) the initial fire triggered a more extensive fire

(3) loss of function of a critical device, such as an implanted defibrillator

(4) medical error triggered by the unexpected event and need for immediate response

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.