“I have just been discharged from the hospital,” Sandy Dorson from Almere told RTL News today. “The wound looks good, but I may still have third degree burns that I need to operate on. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Earlier this month, Sandy was lying on her mother’s couch when things went completely wrong. It was cold, so she asked for a hot water bottle, as she often does. Her mother lit the kettle, filled the jug and Sandy placed it on her cold legs. Her dog Rihanna was on the other side, so they could warm up together.
Suddenly a big hit
“I suddenly felt something hot and before I knew it I heard a big bang: ‘BAF’. Water sprayed into the air, directly at me and my dog. Then we screamed as loud as we could.”
Sandy quickly threw her dog away from her, but it was too late: she immediately saw that Rihanna had been burned. Then she began to feel the pain herself, more and more intense. “Wow, it was so painful. I cried so hard, I was scared and didn’t know what to do.”
She immediately decided to go to the emergency room, where she was placed under a lukewarm bath for 20 minutes. She suffered second-degree burns to her legs and buttocks, all the blisters had to be removed and Sandy was completely wrapped in bandages. “I couldn’t walk or stand on my legs for a week, and the pain I felt was unbearable. Fortunately, I was given morphine and other painkillers, but it was burning me so bad, it was like I was on fire.”
She never thought that a hot water bottle could cause her this much misery. But the Byrne Foundation is increasingly accepting patients like Sandy. While there were 12 such victims in 2018 and 16 in 2021, there were actually 23 victims last year.
Maybe a hot water bottle more often due to energy crisis
No one can guess the source of this increase, but there is a similar increase in the United Kingdom. There experts believe, She writes for many British media outletsThat energy crisis could be the reason.
“This may also be one of the reasons here,” says Martin Baartmans. He is a pediatrician at Mastad Hospital and provides support to burn doctors when patients are admitted to the burn centre. “People turn down the heat at home and choose other ways to keep warm, such as a hot water bottle.”
Many people don’t know that this hot water bottle can be dangerous, as Baartmans himself hears from the patients he treats. “We see broken jars being used without people knowing. If people put hot water in them, as hot as a cup of tea – 70 degrees – for example, it only takes a second for the burn to heal. Walk when that water comes on your body.”
“Burns caused by hot water are very painful,” Baartmans asserts. “There are all kinds of nerves in your skin, which is why you can feel relief, for example. With burns like this, they become exposed, which is very sensitive.”
This was also the case with Sandy. Fortunately, she is better now and the wounds are healing well. However, the question is whether she will fully recover. “In any case, it will remain sensitive forever,” she says. Fortunately, Rihanna’s dog is also recovering well, although she still has to go to the vet every week. Sandy knows she will never use a hot water bottle again. “So do my friends. We’ve stopped doing that now. Then I put on extra thick socks and an extra blanket on the couch.”
According to Baartmans, it is not necessary to stop using the hot water bottle so strictly, but he warns: “We all think: This is not happening to me, I have been using this hot water bottle for years and it always disappears.” “Okay. But a hot water bottle can corrode and break. It can leak or burst. You should always check it, and above all, be aware that a hot water bottle can become porous.”
How can you use a hot water bottle safely?
The Burns Foundation has several tips on how to use a hot water bottle safely.
- Use a hot water bottle bag around each hot water bottle.
- Check the jug and rubber pad each time before use. The plate should not be hard and not contain any cracks. If the rubber pad is broken or worn, replace it immediately.
- Fill the hot water bottle as follows: Place the bottle in the sink and fill it completely with hot tap water. Then hold the jar with a cloth and screw on the lid. Finally, check for leaks by rolling the jug out on a dry surface after drying and shaking it back and forth with the lid down.
- Place an empty plastic jug after use. Place a full metal jug, as it is sensitive to rust. If rust develops, a hole may appear, causing the jar to leak. Therefore, do not empty the metal jug after use, rather fill it with boiling water after use and keep it closed.
- Do not use the hot water bottle on your body, but rather to warm your bed.
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