In our last blog we spoke about diabetes and this week we are going to talk about acid attacks. Did you know that the UK has more acid attacks per person then anyware in the world? Thankfully B&Q and Tesco are leading the way and have signed a partition to prevent the sale of acid based products to customers under 18 years of age. Taking this into consideration MediTec Solutions has produced a blog explaining what an acid attack is and how to help an acid attack victim.
What is it?
Attackers spray strong acid or alkaline products over their victims. They tend to use strong house hold detergents which comprise of sulphuric acid, or nitric acid. Both are extremely corrosive and the latter can even dissolve bone, these chemicals are often found in drain, patio and oven cleaning products.
Treating someone who is a victim of acid attacks.
Initially the most important thing to do is look after yourself. Acid is corrosive and can cause you burns. Report the crime by calling 999 and treat the victim as soon as safely possible. Take into consideration that the victim will be covered in a corrosive substance. Take active steps not to get contaminated yourself. Remove contaminated clothing carefully. If the fabric has become stuck to the skin do not pull on it this will worsen any injuries already sustained.
It is very important to neutralise and cool the affected area. This can be done by rinsing the affected area with large amounts of running water until further medical assistance arrives.
If any acid has entered the eyes rinse with running water as much as possible. If any acid has entered the mouth encourage the victim to spit out anything in their mouth and continuously rinse with water.
Signs and symptoms
- Covered in a liquid.
- Shouting and screaming.
- Covering face with hands.
- Difficulty in opening eyes.
- Blistered red skin.
- May be aggressive.
- Clothing may be stuck to victim.
- Victim may have other signs and symptoms not listed.
- Protect yourself first! Acid is corrosive and can cause you burns too!
- Report the attack by dialling 999.
- Sit the victim down.
- Remove any contaminated clothing as soon as possible, if stuck to the skin do not pull on the clothing this will make the situation worse).
- Rinse the skin with running water immediately.
- Bottled water can be used short term to get the victim to running water.
- Check their mouth has not got any acid in it. This can make their airway close, so get them to rinse their mouth with running water if they have ingested any acid.
- If they lose consciousness, but are breathing put them into the recovery position and try to keep rinsing the affected area.
- In the instance they stop breathing, prepare to give CPR.
Even if someone appears to have recovered, ensure they receive urgent medical advice. This is particularly important at night, as insulin will still be active in the blood stream while they sleep and the blood sugar levels will therefore continue to drop until they become unconscious.
First Aid Training and more information.
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NHS website link