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Burn victim stunned after medical staff wrap blistered hand in freezer bag
Nicholas Robertson, 38, was taken to hospital after accidentally setting his arm ablaze with a cigarette after spilling lighter fluid on himself.
He was left stunned though when medical staff at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, once they had treated the burn, used a plastic bag from the supermarket to keep it protected and sterile.
Stunned: Nursing staff at the University Hospital of Wales covered Nicholas Robertson's injury in a plastic bag from the supermarket
Commenting on the treatment, Mr Robertson said: 'Is this what the NHS has come to?
'I know there are Government cuts - but wrapping patients in Tesco freezer bags is not acceptable.
'You would expected proper burns bag which are sterilised and made for different limbs.'
Nursing staff had first coated his injury with a soothing jelly before wrapping it in the plastic bag which also has the words 'contents' and 'date' stamped on it.
Mr Robertson, from Roath in Cardiff, said he had later gone on a shopping trip and ended up in his local branch of Tesco where he showed checkout staff his branded dressing.
He said: 'The cashiers in Tesco were astonished - they couldn't believe it.
'They were joking that there is now wonder they have a shortage of plastic bags if they end up at the local hospital.'
He later returned to the Cardiff hospital for further treatment and questioned nurses about the Tesco bag taped to his hand.
'They backed me up. They told me: "Something needs to be said. You can't have patients walking out in Tesco bags,"' he said.
'They were not angry with me and certainly didn't treat me any differently. They were fine, very professional. It's the fact they had to resort to this.'
The University Hospital of Wales is now investigating why the supermarket bag was used to treat the injury.
Kesh Baboolal, director of acute university hospital services for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: 'The accident and emergency unit uses sterilised plastic bags to help protect properly treated and bandaged injuries where appropriate.
'Any medical and surgical equipment including dressings are stored, and where necessary sterilised, and safe for use.
'The health board is investing in new hand-shaped sterile bags and phasing out the current supply.'
A spokesman for the hospital simply confirmed the bag used to treat Mr Robertson's burn had been 'sterilised'.
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