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2 students suffer burns during science class experiment - WILX

Author: WILX

Source: https://www.wilx.com/2023/10/27/2-students-suffer-burns-during-science-class-experiment/

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MALVERN, Iowa (WOWT/Gray News) - Two seventh grade students at East Mills Junior-Senior High School in Malvern, Iowa, are recovering after receiving chemical burns during a science experiment that went wrong.“I had my back turned and it just exploded right behind me,” said student Riley Streight, who has two small chemical burns on his arms.Riley said when the explosion happened, shards of glass shot past him, as did a rush of fire.Although his injuries are minor, Riley said it came with a lot of pain.“I could hear him screaming, ‘Mom, it burns!It burns!’ And I’m like, ‘What is going on?’” said Riley’s mom, Donna Streight, while recalling the moments she received the phone call alerting her about what happened.East Mills Junior and Senior High School principal Dale Scott described the incident in a note to parents:“Today in a junior high science class, a group of students were working on science fair projects involving the burning of sugar.Two students were injured when a container of ethanol alcohol was accidentally bumped.The container spilled and caused a fireball which injured the students.The teacher extinguished the flames with a fire blanket. Both students were treated by school personnel and transported for further medical treatment.“East Mills takes the safety of our students seriously and will review safety procedures in our science classrooms to prevent potential accidents going forward.”After it happened, Riley said he immediately went to the nurse’s office.His older sister, Kayla, a junior, wasn’t far behind.She was sitting at lunch when it all happened.“All of a sudden, I smell this weird fire smell.So then I see my brother run down the stairs and he’s holding his arm like this, and I’m like, that’s not normal,” Kayla said.Kayla followed Riley to the office and called their mother to let her know what happened.“You hear a kid screaming in the background.What’s going on?I mean, I immediately thought school shooting. You know, like what’s going on?She never calls me in the middle of the day,” Donna Streight said.After the incident was explained to Donna Streight, she spoke with the school nurse.“I’m like ‘OK, well if it’s a chemical burn, I would like you to call an ambulance because I would like him checked out,’” Donna Streight said.Donna Streight said the school said an ambulance wasn’t necessary, adding that he would be given ointment and he could return to class if he wanted.As a junior volunteer firefighter, Kayla said she knows burns should be flushed out before anything is placed on top of the wound.“I knew in that instant if you put ointment on it, it traps the chemicals on the skin.You want to rinse it off,” Kayla said.Instead of returning to class, Kayla drove Riley to a nearby emergency clinic, where he needed a 10-minute decontamination shower and for his eyes to be flushed out.Riley said his classmate’s injuries were much worse than his.Following the incident, Donna Streight is now questioning the school’s protocols and training for all staff, including teachers and nurses, when it comes to similar incidents.“They said that their personnel handled it.They didn’t handle it,” Donna Streight said.“They didn’t call an ambulance like I requested.”Scott responded with what was relayed to him by the school nurse, who was on scene:“A male student was injured in a fire in the science room. Noted a nickel-sized area on his left upper arm.Redness is also noted on the arm.He was complaining of pain in the area.No redness or burns were noted on any other part of his body.His sister was also in the nurse’s office. She had called her mom.The school nurse spoke with the mom and the mom said that the sister would be taking the male student to the ER in Red Oak.He left school with his sister.“The second student was taken two blocks to the local medical clinic by school officials and the doctor there made the decision to transport [the] other injured student by ambulance after their assessment.“The school acted quickly and professionally to aid students and contact parents.”Parents close to the family of the other injured student said she was taken to Nebraska Medicine to be treated and was later flown to the burn unit in Lincoln, Nebraska.Medical organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic, said chemical burns should be immediately rinsed with water for 20 minutes.”The staff followed protocols to help injured students and inform parents,” Scott responded when asked about personnel protocols.“The other student was transported by staff and was in front of doctors in minutes thanks to the actions of the staff making the best call they could with the situation in front of them.”Copyright 2023 WOWT via Gray Media Group, Inc.All rights reserved.

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