In recent months there has been an alarming rise in Acid Attacks across the UK. Concern within the UK is such that the ambulance service has begun issuing advice on the treatment of chemical burns in the event of an acid attack.
Immediate treatment is important and makes a significant difference in recovery. Immediate First Aid can be given by following the following advice.
- You must ensure that you are safe and not in any immediate danger and not at any risk of being exposed to the chemical yourself.
- The most important First aid is to immediately wash the affected area with plenty of fresh or saline water if available.
- In the event that the acid burn is severe, affects face, hands, and feet or extends around arms, legs or has been caused intentionally; call 999 and seek immediate advice.
- Water should be applied for a minimum of 20 minutes unless instructed otherwise by medical staff. Water should continue to be applied to the affected area until the burning sensation has faded.
- Don’t rinse the burn area with dirty water as this may put the patient at risk of severe infection.
- Remove all jewellery or clothing which had contact with acid
- Ensure patient does not rub eyes as this may make the injury worse and patient may have acid on hands.
- If possible, use sterilised gauze to loosely wrap the affected area. This can help protect from infection or further contamination.
The British Burn Association has some very simple advice of ‘Cool, Call and Cover’
- Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery.
- Call for help – 999, 111 or local GP for advice.
- Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.
Advice provided does not replace the effectiveness of proper training, treatment for chemical burns is included within First Aid at Work training available from Green cross Training.