Burn baby, burn.

Last week we finished our placements at the Pediatrics and Maternity wards. On our last day we gave the teddybears, that Jenny brought, away to the children at the oncology ward and burn unit (and to two of the staff... It was all kind of strange). That it the first time I ever experienced a smile that gave me goosebumps. And we all felt the same.
Okey, so we saw some terrifying stuff the last day at the burn unit. Burn injuries on babies is quite common here since the kids have no place to play except from where the family cook dinner. Where it often is a fire on the ground. According to Swedish guidlines a burn injury that is over 10% of the total body surface need to be taken care of at a hospital, a burn on more than 20% of the body is severe. In all of Sweden it is about 250 people (in all ages) that have burn injuries that counts as severe and need to be sent to a specialisation unit, that we only have in Linköping and Uppsala. Here there were at least 30 kids on the ward and the most of them hade over 30% of the body surface sculled. And there were new patients coming everyday to this ward that was a burn unit, though other than the name, nothing was specialised for the patients.
We went with the doctors on the rounds and got to here some incredibly sad stories. All of them started with children playing and having fun and ended with severe burns, pain, in some cases, even amputation. We were also allowed inside the dressing room where they dressed the wounds. Some got new dressing daily and some every third day or so. But all of them were screaming and crying loud. No wonders. We only saw one of the patients getting analgesia. And that was orally, right before the dressing started, meaning that there is no way that it would have kicked in. In Sweden they sometime even anaesthetize the patients before dressing cause no painkiller is enough. None of us could stay in the room for long.
But now it is a new week, with new possibilites and new experiences to take in on Emergency and Main Theatre Departments.


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