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burns on stomach after an emergency section... Can anyone explain this to me?

(15 Posts)
ScumBag Thu 25-Apr-13 20:26:04


This may seem like a random question but it is something that has been bothering me since I gave birth three months ago...

I had a c-section under GA. I have had a previous section but I was awake for that one.

This time, in the days after the c-section, I had intense pain that I thought was connected to my scar. When I asked a midwife to look, she told me the painful area wasn't actually from my scar, it was from a blister that "looked like a burn" that was close to the scar. I also had a line of them across one of my thighs. These blisters were far more painful that the actual incision.

The midwife said "They use an acid during the section & it looks like they just a spilled a little bit on you". I didn't really question that at the time because I was still in shock from the whole event but now, for some reason, that is one of the things I can't get out of my mind!

The hospital were extremely short staffed at the time & there was a atmosphere of real panic when I got put to sleep. The Dr was young and seemed very nervous and I know there weren't enough staff in there because I could hear the anesthetist repeatedly shouting for a team and asking why they didn't have one ready.

I now have an image in my head of the young Dr sloshing around a bucket of acid & just spilling it on me while I was unconscious shock. I can't face asking to look at my notes yet or asking questions that I need the answers too, but it is the relatively unimportant blisters (they have now healed) that I keep thinking about now!!

What on earth were the Drs doing while I was asleep? And surely it wasn't actually 'acid'? If anyone else has had a similar experience or can fill me in a bit more, I would appreciate it.

LaGuardia Thu 25-Apr-13 20:33:37

Acid? What in heaven's name is she talking about? They don't use any acid or else patients would just accidentally melt on the operating table. It is more likely the blisters have come from a tape they used during the op to strap tubes out of the way (drainage, catheter, etc) and they have either ripped them off none too gently or you were a little allergic to the tape (it is strong stuff). Stop worrying. No-one burnt you.

Delayingtactic Thu 25-Apr-13 20:36:05

There is no acid used trust me! Tape can blister skin. But also was it in a square shape just on one thigh?

ScumBag Thu 25-Apr-13 20:40:16

Thank you for your quick response LaGuardia - that's actually really cheered me up! She definitely mentioned acid & the thought of that has been lingering in my mind ever since. I should have asked at my 8 wk check but it totally went out of my mind that day.

I did wake up with a ridiculous amount of blue tape all around my stomach & legs (which I didn't have after the other section) & it was removed after a couple of days, so that makes sense. It is very comforting to know that, despite the panic, people were not spilling acid on me while I was asleep grin

Ginismyfriend Thu 25-Apr-13 20:40:51

I had a huge burn down my back - only became aware of it the next day. The midwife thought it was from the tape that held the epidural in place. Still have a scar now (two and a half years on) but it's fading slowly. Definitely no acid!

UnChartered Thu 25-Apr-13 20:41:20

I'd say it was the surgical tape too, this can cause blisters in some patients, as an allergic reaction to the glue.

The best way to test this is run a trial yourself, get some steri strips and stick a small piece to the inside of your arm and keep a watch out - any sign of irritation you should contact your GP and make them record it on your medical notes - if you should have an emergency operation the surgical staff can use an alternative tape than standard.

VinegarDrinker Thu 25-Apr-13 20:42:32

Yup, my guess is tape, too. I keep seeing women with blisters from the tape used for pressure bandages/drains etc.

ScumBag Thu 25-Apr-13 20:42:44

Delayingtactic - thank you also, I just saw your post. Yes it was just on one thigh but I think it was a line rather than a square. They expected me to hemmorrage so I think that was why I had so much tape around me.

VinegarDrinker Thu 25-Apr-13 20:43:19

And just to second/third/fourth that there is definitely no acid involved in performing a C section!

Annianni Thu 25-Apr-13 20:44:17

I had a reaction to the glue on the strips they used during my section.

They were like blisters.

Don't worry op, it's just the glue.

ScumBag Thu 25-Apr-13 20:48:03

Cross posted, thank you for the reassurance from the rest of you! I wonder why on the earth the midwife said that?! I was a little confused in the days afterwards but I definitely remember that conversation.

VinegarDrinker Thu 25-Apr-13 20:51:45

All I can think of she is (wrongly) describing the cleaning fluid used - which obviously isn't acid, nor does it burn (most people's) skin. And it clearly wasn't that in your case or the whole of your abdomen would have reacted.

Lozza70 Thu 25-Apr-13 20:54:09

What a thing for a medical professional to say?? I have had 2 sections and had a reaction the the glue on the dressings both times. The second time the reaction hurt more than the section scar and took longer to heal.

lougle Thu 25-Apr-13 22:05:36

You would have had a diathermy conduction pad on one of your thighs. They use diathermy to cauterise the incision to reduce bleeding.

There's an article here reporting allergic contact dermatitis from such pads.

VinegarDrinker Thu 25-Apr-13 22:10:05

I thought about the diathermy pad too but the distribution sounds much more like tape from pressure dressings etc imho.

Either way, it's likely to be a reaction to the glue, and it seems really common.

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