Charlotte has been coming out observing with me since she first started studying as a paramedic. In order to assist her make the most of any learning opportunities I decided to undertake the Practice Placement Educator course. This means that now when Charlotte is out with me we can get some of her competencies signed-off.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of Charlotte’s company again during one of my shifts on the car. This shift was unusual in that a) we weren’t busy at all and b) all our patients were children c) the curse of Charlotte the trauma magnet appears to have been broken at long last.
Being healthy little things, children normally account for only about a fifth of our workload. On this day though there must have been something in the water.
Most of the children that we went to that day thankfully weren’t too sick, but the littlest one did require a lot of TLC. His mother had stopped for a cup of coffee while out shopping and accidentally spilled some of the hot coffee on the leg of her 8 week old baby. The first aiders had only splashed a bit of cold water on his leg briefly* and baby was still very distressed when we arrived – as was mum.
Charlotte and I quickly applied Watergel dressings to the scalds and wrapped baby up in a blanket to stop him getting too cold. We gave him some oral painkillers which unfortunately do take a little while to work. Then I remembered something I heard a while back about infants benefiting from skin to skin contact when they are in pain. As mum was still breastfeeding I suggested she try to sooth the baby by trying to feed him ad holding him close. It seemed to work very well and he fell asleep after only a few minutes. Once mum and baby were more settled Charlotte and I took them to the local hospital and from there they went to a specialist burns unit for definitive treatment. Baby is doing very well – although I suspect poor mum will be beating herself up for some time yet.
*Scald advice: You should cool the burn with cool or tepid water for at least 10 minutes. See more burns and scalds advice on the NHS website.