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Eskenazi Health’s burn unit sees more patients this fall

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 2, 2015) -- Eskenazi Health's burn unit is seeing more patients now that the weather has gotten cooler and people are starting more fires.

Burn victim John Hobbs, a farmer in Hamilton County, became one of those patients when he started a routine fire 18 months ago.

"It was a pretty traumatic experience, to say the least," Hobbs said.

Hobbs was starting a brush fire on his property with diesel fuel, when the fuel ignited, causing the can in his hand to explode. It left severe burns up his arms, onto his chest and back.

"I was in shock, I think. I never lost consciousness or anything but I could see the skin was falling off both arms," Hobbs said.

At Eskenazi, that story is not unique. Burn unit Director Dr. Rajuv Sood said he's seeing five to ten patients a week, many because it is now fall and people are burning more often.

"It’s not like breaking a bone, it heals and it’s just a distant memory. Here you burn your hands, you burn your face, your chest (and) that skin’s never normal again," Sood said.

The same goes for camp fires, where Sood sees even less concern for safety.

"(People are) not only not watching themselves, they’re not watching their kids because they’re just so comfortable with that venue, sitting around (and) relaxing," Sood said.

It's the very reason Hobbs tells his story all the time and still has the scars to prove it. He continues to get laser therapy to repair his skin and he will have scars for the rest of his life.

"I think a lot of people have a lot of close calls, all the time, when they’re out starting fires. ... Weird things can happen and it can really escalate quickly," Hobbs said.

Next week is Fire Prevention Week. If you have questions about starting a fire safely, contact your local fire department.