Sunday, February 24, 2013

The trouble with Bandages….

Almost as traumatic as the initial injury has been the removal of the bandages and tape.  Tape always seems to be stuck to a burn area, pulling off skin in its removal.  The ‘cling’ used at the hospital stuck to everything and was extremely hard to get off, as were the gauze bandages they used.  The doctor tried something different, but I ended up having to hold Samantha’s hands all night long so she didn’t scratch, and the next day she had blisters covering her legs where she reacted to the tape, poor thing.

Figure 1 – Tuesday at Doctors, Day 4. 
Finally, the wound care nurse who truly knows Best Practice, took one look at the bandages that had been used, shook her head and the next day a huge box of non-painful, self-adhesive bandages arrived, hallelujah.  Seriously, why is it so difficult to get proper bandages?  Our doctor didn’t have them, I checked our $50 first aid kit from Canadian tire and all the bandages in there are inadequate.  As the wound care nurse said, they just don’t know best practice, and neither do people who make first aid kits I guess. 

Back to the nurses first visit last Tuesday.  Expecting to fight yet another battle over the Medi-honey (no, the doctors at the hospital had NOT heard about it and I had to bring up a few research articles) I held up the alginate honey bandage, and defiantly said ‘I want to use these, are we going to have a problem?’  She was surprised I had it, told me it was the ‘new big thing’, she had heard of it but they didn’t have any yet and both she and her manager were excited to see the results – again, hallelujah.   She assessed the wound and estimated Samantha would be off school for at least 3 weeks in total, probably 4.


Figure 2  Wednesday, Day 5.  Nurse predicted 3-4 weeks off school

We had a new nurse today (Sunday), she was surprised that we had been scheduled an appointment with the plastic surgeon.  When I pulled out my camera and showed her the original picture of the wound she gasped, her mouth dropped open and she couldn’t believe how amazing Samantha is doing just over 1 week later, new skin is already growing.  Absolutely amazing she said with a smile.  It really is.  If it weren’t for the doctor’s appointment tomorrow I’d send her to school, as it is, she’ll go on Tuesday.  Only 7 days missed, ¼ of what was predicted.

figure 3 Sunday, day 9.  If it weren’t for an (unneeded now) doctor’s appointment, Samantha would be going back to school tomorrow.  2 weeks earlier than predicted possible.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Honey and Heroes

It started with bedtime, a goodnight snuggle and a scalding cup of coffee.  Next thing I know my daughter is screeching out of her room, with her little brother hot on her tail – both hysterically screaming, I actually thought there was a mouse in their room until I saw my daughter’s leg.  Five hours later we were home from the hospital with another challenge on our hands; how to provide the best care for our daughter who had 2nd degree burns down her leg and buttocks. 

My husband was initially happy with the advice from the doctors and nurses at the hospital, who were wonderful, but unfortunately not fully informed.  It didn’t take me long to bring up the countless research studies, including a systemic Cochrane review, to show him that the Silver Sulforadizine was far inferior to high quality, 100% active leptospermum honey, from Manuka honey. 

We all know that the biggest issue with burns is the likelihood for infection.  A study published in the British Journal of surgery compared Silver Sulfadiazine – what the nurse put on the dressing at the hospital and what I was told is what they ALWAYS use, to honey.  The results are shocking, 91% of the people treated with honey had no infections after 7 days, vs 7% of those treated with Silver Sulfadiazine.  7 vs 91 – seriously, and our docs aren’t noticing this?  Healthy granulation tissue was observed on average 6 days earlier in those treated with honey and finally, 87% of the honey treated group were healed with 15 days vs 10% of the Silver group.   A 2008 article published in Evidence Based Complimentary journal speaks of a case at the Children's Hospital Medical Centre  affiliated with the University of Bonn where a 12 year old was put in isolation after an operation resulting in MRSA (antibiotic resistant) infection.  After 12 days of isolation and all the best tricks to contain the infection, no results were seen, so as a last resort they allowed the honey treatment.  2 days later the child was MRSA negative.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of honey you can get at your local health food store, so it took some serious investigating and calling the best Naturopathic Doctors I know to track it down on a Saturday morning.  I found myself back at +Dr. Eric Marsden’s clinic, my first mentor and where I spent the first 2 years of my practice – a clinic ahead of its time, very cutting edge and the only place to have the supplies I needed.  Thank you Eric for being so prepared that you keep said supplies on hand “just in case”, and for opening your clinic to see us on your Saturday afternoon. Samantha asked if we were at another hospital, and I told her it was better than a hospital.  Eric was more gentle, more thorough and more researched that the nurses and docs at the hospital (though they were lovely) and it really did feel like we were back at the ER.

 So, let’s keep our fingers crossed the honey does the trick and once again, thanks to all the people helping us out.  It’s amazing how supportive the community is when you need it.  Cornell Moms’ have offered assistance, friends going out of there way, Nadine, Jenny, mom and dad, strangers going out of their way, thank goodness for Community, our heros making a nasty situation a little bit sweet.