Rise in use of hot water bottles may be upping rates of burns cases

Rise in use of hot water bottles could be causing high rates of burns cases as it emerges a London hospital treats one patient every week for scalding from the bed-warmers

  • Victims can be scarred when bottles leak or burst open or are left against skin
  • Sales, around a million a year, are thought to be at their highest since the 1960s
  • London hospital’s findings revealed its burns unit treated 80 patients in a year
  • Sophie Mason told how her veins collapsed due to a hot water bottle splitting

Victims can be scarred for life when bottles leak or burst open. Sophie Mason (pictured), told how her veins collapsed after one split on her

The rising popularity of hot water bottles may be causing high rates of burns cases, doctors warned yesterday.

Victims can be scarred for life when bottles leak or burst open or are left against the skin for too long.

Sales of the bottles – around a million a year – are thought to be at their highest levels since the 1960s as households try to save on heating.

Doctors from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital analysed data for hot water bottle injuries from January 2017 to March 2018. 

The results, published in the journal Burns, revealed the hospital’s burns unit treated 80 patients in that period – more than one a week.

Half were burned on the legs and more than a third needed surgery, involving skin grafts.

The researchers said: ‘We need targeted public awareness campaigns to prevent these injuries.

‘Hot water bottles are a common domestic item in the UK. But their use is associated with burns injuries, either by contact for prolonged periods with the skin, or through the bottle leaking or bursting.

Sales of the bottles – around a million a year – are thought to be at their highest levels since the 1960s as households try to save on heating. Mother-of-four Mrs mason (pictured with husband Mark) from Waddington near Lincoln had a three-hour skin graft operation

‘A significant proportion of burns could be prevented and most happen when a patient is asleep.’

The findings mirror those from another NHS burns unit, the St Andrews Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns in Chelmsford, Essex. 

In 2013, it identified 85 burns victims harmed by hot water bottles. Nearly half were children.

Ashley Martin, public health adviser for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said hot water bottle burns were a major concern. 

Research at Chelsea and Westminster suggests the NHS is spending millions of pounds on treating the injuries (file photo)

He added: ‘Young children and frail older people are particularly vulnerable to scald injuries.’

The research at Chelsea and Westminster suggests the NHS is spending millions of pounds on treating the injuries.

Sophie Mason, 29, last month told how her veins collapsed after she put a hot water bottle down her leggings and it split open.

The mother of four from Waddington near Lincoln had a three-hour skin graft operation.

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