Marie Macheras had just settled into bed, when her peace was interrupted by the sound every mother dreads – her 20 year-old son screaming in agony.
Marie jumped out of bed and ran to her son’s aid as his screams grew louder.
“When I got to him, he was throwing his clothes off, screaming that he was on fire,” Marie said.
Moments earlier he had started up his Xbox for a night of gaming. He’d settled himself onto the chair and placed a hot water bottle across his lap.
It’s something he’d done most winter nights of his life, however on this occasion the hot water bottle split, pouring boiling hot water across his lap, stomach and abdomen.
“He jumped into a cold shower immediately and I called an ambulance, but he just kept yelling that he was on fire, the pain was so bad that he just couldn’t take the burn away from the cold water.”
He was taken to The Alfred with second and third degree burns across his abdomen, chest and hands and underwent painful surgery for a skin graft earlier this week.
Alfred Health burns surgeon Dane Holden said it’s a horror situation that plays itself out each year.
“Every winter we get a spike in hot water bottle burns, which is a trend we really want to see reversed because they’re entirely preventable.”
“A few safety precautions such as never filling your hot water bottle with boiling water, hanging it up to dry before reusing it and replacing it every 12 months will go a long way to avoiding putting yourself in danger.”