What to do in an acid attack and how to treat acid burns

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The number of acid attacks appears to have grown significantly with five carried out in a space of 90 minutes across London last night.

Initially acid was used in revenge attack, often associated with drug dealing. But lately corrosive substances have been used in car robberies and moped thefts.

top Acid Attacks has come up with advice on first aid for acid burn patients once you have called for an ambulance – the key is to act fast. In the worst case scenario acid can corrode through to the bone.

1. The most important First Aid is to immediately wash affected body part of patient with plenty of fresh or saline water.

2. Don’t rinse the burn area with dirty water as it can cause severe infection.

3. Keep flushing the affected burn area with plenty of cool water, (not very cold) until the patient’s burning sensation starts fading. It may take 30-45 minutes.

4. Remove all the jewellery or clothing which had contact with acid.

5. Don’t apply any kind of cream, ointment on the affected area as it may slow the treatment procedure by doctors.

6. If possible, use sterilised gauze to loosely wrap the affected area. The gauze protects the skin from air, debris, dirt and contamination.

Once a person has been treated in hospital they will still need help.

It is important to stay clean because infections are common in acid burns and can kill. It is likely that acid patients will be cleaned two or three times a day. If visiting an acid burns victim do not take food in for them.

Dressings will need to be changed frequently and physiotherapy may be required because nerves under the skin can become permanently damaged.

It may be likely that skin grafts are carried out from parts of the body with no burns.

The body will need protein and carbohydrates to recover, so speak to a dietician on getting the best food for your body to recover.

In a worst case scenario, reconstructive surgery may be required.


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