Woman suffers 'excruciating' hot water bottle injuries: 'Horrific pain'

A New Zealand woman has detailed her "excruciating" injuries caused by a hot water bottle that burst and left her with second-degree burns on the lower half of her body.

Erin Majurey, from Hamilton, was laying in bed almost two weeks ago when suddenly she felt "the most horrific pain" as hot water poured onto her skin, she told Yahoo News Australia.

"My 11-year-old daughter filled my hot water bottle up for me. She used jug water but it had cooled a bit so wasn’t boiling," she explained.

"I had it on my stomach, then went to get up so I pushed it down the bed between my legs, that’s when it burst."

Erin Majurey, from Hamilton, New Zealand, with burns on leg from hot water bottle
Erin Majurey, from Hamilton, New Zealand, warns against hot water bottles after suffering horrific burns. Source: Supplied

Ms Majurey said she screamed and "threw the blankets off of her."

"I rolled onto the floor ripping my pants off. I could feel the blisters already," she told Yahoo News Australia.

'Most horrific pain'

The accident left her with burns covering her thighs, buttocks and lower back, but her quick thinking prevented it from being worse.

Ms Majurey immediately jumped into the shower where she stayed for 20 minutes, before being rushed to hospital.

"[The paramedics] said the fast action and 20 minute shower minimised the damage," she said.

"For hours it felt like embers were on my skin just constantly burning. It was the most horrific pain."

But the pain only got worse while at the hospital when doctors cleaned out the wounds and applied various bandages.

second-degree burns on leg blisters from hot water bottle burn
The mum was rushed to the hospital with second-degree burns after her hot water bottle burst. Source: Supplied

'Hard to sit and sleep'

Even now, almost two weeks on, the pain is still "awful", but regular pain medication is what's helping her manage, even though she finds it "hard to sit and sleep".

"Now it’s so itchy as it’s healing that I just want to rip my skin off," she said.

"The doctors say a few more weeks of recovery but they’re happy with the process, and no grafts were required."

Despite her injuries, Ms Majurey is thankful it happened to her and not her daughter, who was filling up her own hot water bottle at the time of the accident.

"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," she told the New Zealand Herald.

Now, despite taking precautions by replacing her bottle each winter, as recommended by Product Safety Australia, the worried mum said she will no longer buy them.

"I have switched to wheat bags which aren’t as easy to find and more expensive, but a better alternative," she said.

Red hot water bottle on bed with white sheets
Product Safety Australia urges people to replace their hot water bottles every year. Source: Getty

Australian safety measures

According to Product Safety Australia, "hot water bottles can burst or leak if used improperly or poorly manufactured" which can often lead to third-degree burns and may require skin grafts.

"These burns are serious and happen gradually, often the user cannot feel these burns until it is too late," it says on their website.

All hot water bottles made from rubber and PVC are required to have safety warnings.

In order to prevent injuries this winter, those who are using hot-water bottles should be mindful of the following safety tips, as advised by Product Safety Australia.

  • Don’t overfill or use boiling water in your hot water bottle – use hot tap water.

  • Buy a new hot water bottle every year. Hot water bottles that are in good condition on the outside may be damaged on the inside.

  • Always use a hot water bottle cover or wrap the bottle in a towel or fabric to prevent the bottle being in direct contact with the skin.

  • Remove hot water bottle from bed before going to bed to avoid rolling onto it and bursting it. Do not lie, rest or put pressure or weight on a hot water bottle.

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