When Georgia Liubinas warmed up with a hot water bottle on a chilly Ballarat night, she didn’t think she would end up in hospital with second degree burns.
But she has spent the past two weeks in severe pain and on crutches after her warming aid exploded all over her legs.
Ms Liubinas, 21, filled her hot water bottle with boiling water in her family’s Newington home on August 3 during a visit home from her Adelaide physiotherapy studies. When she reached over to get something from her bag, the bottle’s bottom split open.
“I started screaming. I was in so much pain. I ripped down my pants and ripped off my sock but it ripped off all my skin,” Ms Liubinas said.
Luckily, Ms Liubinas’ mother Jane was home and took her daughter straight to St John of God Hospital’s emergency department, where she was put under cold, running water for an hour.
The burnt skin was then cut away before her burns were medicated and dressed.
Ms Liubinas still has her wounds treated twice a week, as there is a high infection danger.
She hopes to return to Adelaide late next week but wanted to raise awareness of how easily burns can happen, especially as she works part-time as a Nazareth House personal carer and wants to ensure it doesn’t happen to elderly people.
“I was very lucky. If it had been an 80-year-old it would have been a different ballgame.”
Initially they thought Ms Liubinas might need skin grafts or plastic surgery but it now appears she will just need to protect her new “baby” skin as it comes through, especially from the summer sun.
She has also just started walking again after not being able to put any weight on her foot for 10 days.
“I just want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Ms Liubinas said.
“I was just lucky mum was here.
“If I had have hopped into bed it would have been so much worse.”
Mrs Liubinas also stressed the importance of treating burns with running, cold water.
Ms Liubinas has also been in touch with the hot water bottle manufacturer who has pledged to improve their warning labels.
“They took it really seriously,” she said.