ROTTERDAM, 7 July 2023 – As the warmest June on record sees a surge in barbecue-related injuries, Rotterdam's burn centre is urging residents to exercise caution. The centre, along with its counterparts in Groningen and Beverwijk, has reported an influx of patients suffering from severe burns, primarily caused by unsafe barbecue practices.
Rise in Burn Injuries
The three Dutch burn centres (brandwondencentra) have been treating a significant number of patients with severe burns, most of which are attributed to typical summer activities. Barbecuing has been identified as the leading cause. According to Kiran Baran, a burn specialist at the Red Cross Hospital, the use of flammable liquids to ignite barbecues is a common and dangerous practice.
Barbecue Safety Warning
The burn centres, in collaboration with the Dutch Burn Foundation (Nederlandse Brandwonden Stichting), are advising the public to use firelighters (aanmaakblokjes) for a safer barbecue experience.
Summer Burn Hazards
Every year, people sustain severe burns from incidents that are unique to the summer season. These include accidents involving hot metal slides, gas mishaps on boats, and, of course, barbecues.
Burn Centre Statistics
The burn centres have already treated 11 adults and 3 children with severe burns this year. Many of these patients were injured while using flammable liquids during barbecuing. Often, it is the family members or friends of the person using the flammable liquid who are injured.
The Tip of the Iceberg
Ymke Lucas, a burn specialist at the Maasstad Hospital's burn centre in Rotterdam, suggests that the actual number of burn victims is likely higher. The centre only sees the most severe cases, and does not have data on patients treated in hospitals without a burn centre.
Safe Barbecuing Practices
Lucas advises that safe barbecuing can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. However, she warns against the use of flammable liquids to speed up the ignition process. These include substances like spirit, bio-ethanol, petrol, white spirit, and fire gel.
Directions to Maasstad Hospital
The Maasstad Hospital is located in the Zuid district of Rotterdam, easily accessible by public transport or car. The area is well-served by local amenities and is just a short distance from the city centre.