First Aid for Acid Attack
Hideous and monstrous as they are, acid attacks have been and are becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. According to a report released in 2017, 99% of the acid attack victims are women. Therefore it is important that we know how to handle the situation and the victim if we ever come across it.
Providing correct first aid can actually save the victim from long term damages or at least minimize the impact the attack.
It is crucial to remember the 3 R’s.
- Report – call the ambulance
- Remove – contaminated clothing and objects
- Rinse – with clean running water
Ensure your own safety before anything else.
Make sure that your hands are safely covered with a cloth or preferably gloves before you touch the victim.
Call the paramedics.
Call for the professionals for help before you start commencing first aid. As this will save time and the paramedics will reach your location whilst you provide aid to the victim. As a rule of thumb, please memorize important numbers such as that of ambulance and fire brigade.
Remove all articles.
If easily possible try to remove all contaminated jewellery, clothes and bags from the victim’s body very carefully. It they appear to be stuck it’s better not to force them off. Do not attempt to remove contact lenses from the victim’s eyes. If the victim appears to be covered in any dry chemical, gently brush it off using a cloth.
Use running water.
The safest and best method to give first aid to acid attack is to run the affected area under running water by maintaining a safe distance from the victim. Care should be taken to avoid high pressure water. Do not allow the contaminated water to form a puddle under the victim or in contact with your body. Pay special attention to eyes. Wash the affected eye with water for at least ten minutes. If only one eye is affected, try that the water from affected eye does not touches the other eye. Do not let the victim touch her eyes as in most situations the fingers are usually contaminated with acid. Practically, water bottles are handy in such situations. Keep running water until it dilutes the acid and the burning stops. This may take around forty-five minutes.
Avoid using any other liquids.
Do not try to neutralise the acid with an alkaline medium and avoid any other liquids like milk, lotion or cream. Do not wipe the area with a wet cloth and do not use polluted water as it may further exacerbate conditions by causing infections.
Attackers are usually on bikes. Try to note down the number plate of the vehicle. This little act may help to get hold of the criminal.
Please bear in mind that first aid given at the right time can help to save a life. But it is very important that correct protocol is followed. Share this information with all your friends. Who knows this might help you become a savior.