A mum is using a scary experience with her daughter to warn other parents about the dangers of tourniquet syndrome.
Gemma Fraser has revealed that her baby Orla could have ended up having two of her toes amputated after a strand of hair became twisted around her foot.
The mum-of-two first realised something was wrong when she discovered that her tot’s digits were bulging and had turned purple while changing her.
After trying to remove the hair herself at home in Edinburgh, Gemma decided that she needed to seek help urgently and called the emergency services.
When the paramedics arrived at her home in Edinburgh, it took 45 minutes to free Orla of the tightly-wound strand.
She was admitted to The Royal Hospital For Sick Children but later discharged with an antibiotic cream.
However, the wound failed to heal properly, which forced Gemma to seek further medical help.
‘It was still an open wound, and really swollen, and then pus started coming out of it’, she explained during an interview with BBC Radio Scotland.
‘You could peel the skin back and see inside her toe.’
Five weeks after the incident happened, a nurse realised that Orla might still have hair embedded in her wound. As a result, she was admitted for surgery to have it removed.
Gemma continued by telling the presenters that she wish she’d been better informed about the condition.
‘I was just shocked when I found images of children who haven’t been as lucky as Orla, and have had toes amputated,’ Gemma continued.
‘When I look back, Orla was definitely out of sorts that weekend, I just wish I’d known to look for this as a possible cause.’
Tourniquet syndrome – sometimes referred to as toe or hair tourniquet syndrome – is a dangerous condition which usually arises in babies and children.
As well as being caused by a stray hair like in Gemma and Orla’s case, a loose thread could also attribute to its onset.