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Injuries: Scalds

Mummy will make it better by gemsling, on Flickr

Mummy will make it better by gemsling, on Flickr

We had our hands very full this week on a call…

A little two year old girl had been hurt when she was being given her evening shower from mum. The shower head fell off and she was accidentally scalded with very hot water to the side of her body, affecting her arm, torso and leg.

Her screaming could be heard even before we got in to the house – she was definitely not a happy bunny. Now if you have ever suffered even a tiny burn – you will know how dreadfully painful they can be, but this was a really large area that was affected and I don’t doubt that she was in absolute agony. The problem that we were faced with was that she was utterly inconsolable and resisted all our efforts to help her.

We carry really effective pain killers that are suitable for children, but no sooner had I put it in to her mouth than she sprayed it right back out at me!

Mum and I held her still while my colleague managed (with sterling effort) to apply the cooling burns dressings on to all the areas affected and used bandages to hold them all in place. But, just as he finished the last one, she immediately proceeded to rip them all off again and ran around screaming at the top of her voice…the neighbours must have thought we were murdering her when they heard the commotion!

Despite her protests we eventually succeeded to wrestle her safely into the ambulance and made our way to hospital. We let the hospital know in advance that we were coming in with her so they could be prepared and we used the lights and sirens to get her there quickly. During the whole journey and even at the hospital she continued to struggle and scream at the top of her voice and when we arrived she pushed the doctors and nurses away too. Pure determination to help her meant that the staff didn’t give up until pain killers were administered and after an hour of exhausting protest, the little girl eventually gave up and fell asleep in mum’s arms.

I don’t think I have ever had such a battle to help someone, especially from one quite so small. I wonder if we could carry tranquiliser darts?! No, I suspect the human rights groups would (quite rightly) never allow it!

Luckily her scalds were superficial and because she is young and healthy, she is expected to make a full recovery.

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