First Aid for Acid Attacks
First Aid for Acid Attacks
In July 2017, two men on a moped carried out five acid attacks during a spree across London which lasted less than 90 minutes, police said, without provocation.
Would you know what to do, if yourself or a friend was attacked?
The first ten minutes after an acid attack are crucial to helping the casualty, by following this advice you can limit the amount of injury they sustain.
- Make sure that the area around the casualty is safe, note where the acid is on the casualties clothing and try and move away from pools on the ground. Wear gloves to prevent you coming into contact with the chemical.
- Do not delay starting treatment. In worst cases the acid penetrates to the bone which could be fatal.
- Flood the burn with litres of water for at least 20 minutes to disperse the chemical and stop the burning. Ensure that the water does not collect underneath the casualty.
- Keep flushing the affected burn area with plenty of cool water until the patient’s burning sensation starts fading. It may take 30–45 minutes.
- Don’t apply any kind of cream, ointment on the affected area as it may slow the treatment procedure by doctors.
- Gently remove any loose contaminated clothing or constricting items like rings and jewelry while flooding the injure area.
- Do not allow the casualty to touch their injuries, especially eyes. Do not forcibly remove contact lenses.
- Call emergencies services for advice on evacuation to hospital.
- Hygiene. The most common cause of death for acid burn patients is infection. The burn skin is very sensitive and can be very easily infected if not taken care and cleaned properly. Make sure the casualty goes to hospital to make sure the burn is properly cleaned and dressed.
- Monitor the casualty’s vital signs, such as breathing, pulse and level of response.
Johann Grundlingh, an emergency consultant at Barts, told Sky News:
“I think there’s an inherent reaction to when you see someone with a burn to put water on it, or something cold on it least Definitely the people I’ve encountered on the street who have been attacked want to wash off what they’ve been attacked with. But a small 350ml bottle of water is not going to help. It’s the volume of water that is necessary and that people don’t know about and we encourage people to use litres and litres of water.”
After Effect of Acid Burn
The acid burn is usually considered as the third degree burn as it penetrates through the skin and damages tissues and bone. Usually these burn wounds take several months to heal properly. Once the wound heels a scar remains forever. the scar covers the wound, will become irritated in sun or dry weather. There are also issues around personal confidence and social interaction with friends caused by the emotional impact of the scarring.
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