Burn Victim Healing after Slow Cooker Accident | Loyola Medicine
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Four-year-old Burn Victim Healing after Slow Cooker Accident

MAYWOOD, IL –  At a typical family gathering, 4-year-old Giuliana Maggio was playing hide-and-seek at a relative's house in downstate Illinois. A slow cooker on the table was simmering pork and the electrical cord stretched from the table to the wall. Giuliana accidentally ran through the electrical cord, pulling the scalding contents of the full pot down on her small body.

Dina Maggio, a registered nurse, immediately carried her daughter to the bathroom and put her in the shower. "As the cold water ran over her, and clothing was removed, I could see the layers of skin coming off and knew it was bad," said Mrs. Maggio.

The family called 911 and Giuliana was taken to a community hospital and then transferred to a St. Louis hospital. Giuliana was diagnosed with second- and third-degree burns on her lower back and arms and needed treatment at a nationally recognized burn center. Six hours later, she arrived at Loyola University Medical Center.

Loyola Medicine's Burn Center is the largest burn center in Illinois and a national leader in treating adult and pediatric burns and trauma.

"The majority of our burn patients are children who are seriously injured in cooking or food-related injuries," said burn surgeon Anthony Baldea, MD.

According to the American Burn Foundation, 136,000 children were seen in emergency rooms in 2011 for burn injuries. More than 1,100 children die each year from burn injuries.The annual cost of scald injuries is $44 million.

"Almost 20 percent of Giuliana's body was severely burned. But it could have been much worse if her mother had not acted quickly and correctly," Dr. Baldea said.  

Loyola's burn team sedated Giuliana and gave her regular skin debridement, in which dead or damaged skin is carefully removed and wounds cleaned. Giuliana underwent successful surgery to remove damaged skin and place a temporary skin covering to protect the wounds while her body recovered. After 14 days at Loyola's burn intensive care unit, Giuliana went home.

"Giuliana's wounds continue to improve and the burned areas are healing well. We do not even expect to see any scarring," said Dr. Baldea. "She will continue to recover at home, surrounded by her family and loved ones, which is truly the best medicine." 

Most cooking injuries can be avoided by using precautions, including these tips from Dr. Baldea:

  • Create a "no kid zone" in the kitchen around stoves, ovens and hot items
  • Don't allow appliance cords (from slow cookers, deep fryers, coffeemakers, etc.) to dangle over the counter edge
  • Keep anything hot on tabletops out of reach of young children who can pull them down
  • Place pots and pans on the back burner with handles turned away from the stove

If a burn does occur, Dr. Baldea advises:

  • Cool the burn with cool, not cold, water to stop the burning process
  • Remove all clothing, including diapers, from the injured area
  • Cover the area with a clean dry sheet or bandages
  • Seek medical attention immediately

"I want everyone to learn from our experience to prevent future burn injuries. Don't let children play in the kitchen when food is cooking," Mrs. Maggio said. "I am a medical professional and it happened to my daughter, so please believe that it can potentially happen to you, too." 

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.