ePlasty: Vol. 11
Burns From Hot Wheat Bags: A Public Safety Issue
Anna Collins,a Mathew Amprayil,a Nicholas S. Solanki, BMBS, BEng (IT&T), BSc,b and John Edward Greenwood, AM, BSc (Hons), MBChB, MD, FRCS (Eng), FRCS (Plast), FRACSb

aSchool of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia; and bAdult Burns Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia


Correspondence: john.greenwood@health.sa.gov.au

Introduction: Wheat bags are therapeutic devices that are heated in microwaves and commonly used to provide relief from muscle and joint pain. The Royal Adelaide Hospital Burns Unit has observed a number of patients with significant burn injuries resulting from their use. Despite their dangers, the products come with limited safety information. Methods: Data were collected from the Burns Unit database for all patients admitted with burns due to hot wheat bags from 2004 to 2009. This was analyzed to determine the severity of the burn injury and identify any predisposing factors. An experimental study was performed to measure the temperature of wheat bags when heated to determine their potential for causing thermal injury. Results: 11 patients were admitted with burns due to hot wheat bags. The median age was 52 years and the mean total body surface area was 1.1%. All burns were either deep dermal (45.5%) or full thickness (54.5%). Ten patien .......