Hamilton woman’s ‘excruciating pain’ after hot water bottle bursts

Erin Majurey has sworn off hot water bottles. Photo / Supplied

Warning: Graphic images below.

A Hamilton woman has sworn off hot water bottles after hers burst and left her covered in “excruciating” second-degree burns.

Erin Majurey would normally fill a hot water bottle for herself and her 11-year-old daughter and they would hop into her bed for a cuddle at night.

But on the night in question, two weeks ago, her daughter had brought her the hot water bottle then gone off to get her own.

With her leg across the hot water bottle, Majurey, who previously lived in Rotorua, went to stand up, then felt the bottle burst underneath her.

“It was the most excruciating pain that I’ve every felt in my entire life, the pain was horrific,” she said.

She immediately felt blisters forming on her skin.

Majurey quickly rolled off the bed, stripped off her pants and jumped in the shower, quick actions which may have saved her from being more badly burned.

Paramedics wrapped her wounds in plastic before taking her to hospital. Photo / Supplied
Paramedics wrapped her wounds in plastic before taking her to hospital. Photo / Supplied

As it was, she still suffered second-degree burns on her lower back, left buttock and leg, and on parts of her right thigh.

Paramedics had her stay in the shower for another 20 minutes after they arrived, then wrapped her burns in plastic and took her to hospital, where she had to have her wounds cleaned and the dead skin removed.

It’s unclear yet how long her recovery will take, as doctors were watching her injuries closely to see if she needed skin grafts.

In the meantime, Majurey is supposed to stay off the injury as much as possible, a nearly impossible task for her.

Her pain is “finally under control” but Majurey still wakes about five times a night from the discomfort.

It's not clear yet whether skin grafts will be needed. Photo / Supplied
It’s not clear yet whether skin grafts will be needed. Photo / Supplied

Having her dressings changed was a “really painful process” and was also embarrassing.

“There really is no privacy for me at the moment,” she said.

She must also do daily exercises stretching out the skin in the burned area to make sure it doesn’t heal too tightly.

“I just really thank God that it was me who got burnt and not my daughter, because I really don’t know how I would have lived with myself had she been the one who was horrifically burnt and in pain.”

Majurey tries to buy a new hot water bottle yearly to make sure they aren’t too old, but said sometimes it could be hard to keep track of how long she’d had one.

She said the middle of the bottle had simply disintegrated.

Warnings on the hot water bottles saying not to fill them with boiling water and making sure the rubber didn’t perish were small, and there was no timeline given for how long the bottle should be used before being replaced, she said.

The bottles needed more prominent warnings, especially as they were a cheap option to keep people warm – something many families would use during winter.

If there were “pictures of rotting teeth and scarred lungs on cigarette packets” there should be pictures of burns on hot water bottles.

On a larger scale she believed cheap heating needed to be more accessible for families so they did not need to resort to hot water bottles for warmth.

Majurey said she would be switching to wheat packs to stay warm instead.

According to the government’s Product Safety website, people using hot water bottles should check the safety standard stamped on the bottle’s neck. Accepted standards are BS 1970:2012, BS 1970:2006, and BS 1970:2001.

It also recommended users take care when filling the bottles, use a cover over the bottle, and check them regularly for splits of perishing.

Users should never lie or sit on the hot water bottle, overfill it, or use a bottle that’s showing signs of wear or splitting.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.