room with a view

room with a view

Thanks to funds raised at the Royal Queensbury Corporate Challenge, children in Princess Margaret Hospital’s Total Care Burns Unit now have access to special bathroom facilities.

Vivacious Tyde was nearly 17-months-old and on his first family camping trip when the unexpected hit. On the morning his family was due to return home, Tyde reached up and pulled a cup of tea over himself, causing extensive burns to his face, chest and arms.

Tyde’s mother Dani says it was less than three seconds from the time of the accident to the time he was under cold water. “We kept cooling him for what seemed an eternity under the hose at the caravan park whilst he was screaming the whole time,” she says. “I crumbled with disbelief and sadness that my son was going through all this incredible pain and I couldn’t do a thing but cuddle him, whisper in his ear our little song and cry copious amounts of tears ridden with guilt.”

When the ambulance arrived, Tyde was rushed to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Total Care Burns Unit. He was released after a week, wearing compression bandages on both arms, and 16 months on still attends PMH every six weeks to adjust his compressions. “We still haven’t had the all clear but the improvement has been amazing; from half his face and both arms incredibly burnt, to just a few patches on one arm and only needing to wear one compression bandage,” Dani said.

To assist in treating burns patients like Tyde, ToyBox International, in collaboration with the Royal Queensbury Corporate Challenge, has helped fund the installation of a specialised bathroom in the Total Care Burns Unit. The new bathroom has a large burns bath, a trolley for children to have their dressings applied, heaters in the ceiling and a television to provide a welcome distraction for the children.

PMH Total Care Burns Unit Clinical Nurse Consultant, Tania McWilliams, says the layout of the bathroom has completely changed to enable easy access to the burns bath and patient trolley. “Not only does the new layout improve the ease of transferring the children, but by being visually appealing and welcoming, the room is a child friendly environment to have their dressings changed,” she said.

The bathroom is used to clean burn wounds when dressings are changed, reducing the risk of infection and improving wound healing. By encouraging play and movement during baths and dressing changes, the bathroom also helps to prevent scars from tightening which can affect long-term mobility.

“Having organisations like ToyBox International fulfil grants that enable children in our unit to have access to such facilities means an enormous amount to our staff, patients and their families, by ensuring the child and parent’s hospital experience is pleasant whilst also promoting optimal wound care and play,” Tania said.