Imagine a little girl reaching up to a pot of boiling water and pulling it down on top of herself. Can you see the water splashing against her chest, running down the front of her stomach and her chest?
Imagine a little girl climbing into a bath or sink of hot water. How many limbs do you think she’d stick in on her own before crying out in pain and pulling it back out? Probably just one hand or one foot.
Now imagine someone picking her up and trying to drop her, facing down, in a sink or tub of scalding water. She would have no choice but to extend both arms and legs trying to protect herself. Her hands and legs would have burns circling the limbs, not like the splash of pulling a pot down on top of yourself. If she was able to get into a crouching position, pulling her knees in towards her chest, then perhaps the backs of her knees would be spared, but her buttocks would still be exposed to the hot water.
Imagine skin peeling off her limbs like sheets of thin wax. Like a snake shedding it’s skin, with a brand new, unproteced layer of bright pink painful tissue underneath.
I aksked everyone who was touching her to put on sterile gloves. The first 20 minutes was spent trying to get an IV started. I didn’t have luck, but eventually Mark, the RN did. I had our tech help me hold dressings in place while I wrapped gauze around and around her legs. Keeping the sterile dressings on her feet was the hard part. Once her burns were all covered, We gave her several warm blankets to prevent hypothermia. I grabbed a reference picture for pediatric burns and calculated the percentage body surface area. I scribbled down numbers and rates and calculated the Parkland formula. 125 ml per hour of fluids for her ride to the regional burn center an hour and a half away. The most perplexing part of it all was why wasn’t she crying?
I went to our cupboard of crochet animals made by a local church group as part of their outreach. I picked out a small, colorful bunny and placed it on her chest.
Next to a space labled Valuables on her transfer sheets I wrote “Stuffed Bunny, Binkie.”