MARYLAND

Paul Motta remains hospitalized after house fire

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A 10-year-old boy in critical condition after a house fire in Montgomery County will face challenges as he recovers from his injuries.

Firefighters examine the damage at a house fire that injured a 10-year-old. (Photo: Jummy Olabanji)

The boy was critically injured in the house fire early Monday in Rockville, officials said. The boy was at home smoke in the 200 block Elizabeth Avenue when the fire broke out shortly before 7:30 a.m.

The boy, Paul Motta, was unconscious and suffering from smoke inhalation. He was rushed in critical condition to a local hospital.

Fire officials said Tuesday that the blaze was sparked by the wiring for an electric clothes dryer in the kitchen of the home. They're ruling the fire, which also caused $125,000 in damage, as accidental.

Dr. Dylan Stewart, the director of the pediatric trauma program at Johns Hopkins, is not treating Motta but says burn and smoke inhalation injuries are very complicated.

The biggest challenges:

-Infection to the burn sites

-Smoke inhalation that ultimately causes high carbon monoxide levels in the blood.

-The emotional fragility of kids, often too young to understand what's happening to them.

“The psychology of a child after injury is certainly very different than for adults and that's something we have to have special focus on,” Stewart said.

To fight infection, kids are often sedated as burns are washed in a treatment room designed just for burn victims.

The kids wear masks and breathe 100% oxygen at all times to flush dangerous carbon monoxide from their blood.

And in addition to all they physical attention, teams of counselors help the kids understand their injuries and manage their emotions.

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