Acid attacks are one of the cruelest ways to cause injury – but sadly, these incidents are on the rise.
Due to the recent increase in acid attacks, a leading charity has given advice on what to do if you or someone you know becomes a victim.
St John Ambulance says it has seen an increase in enquiries for advice from the public since the spate of five acid attacks in London last month.
A St John Ambulance spokeswoman said: “Our first aid trainers have reported a rise in the number of acid attack related questions and what steps to take if they witness an attack.
“In the event of a chemical burn, like those acid attacks reported in the media, it is vital that bystanders act as quickly as possible to prevent further damage to the victim and minimalise lasting damage. This could mean drowning the affected area with bottled water, if that is all there is to hand, until emergency services arrive.”
There has been a significant rise in the number of attacks, with at least 1,300 crimes involving acid or other harmful chemicals nationally, according to Freedom of Information responses.
So far in 2017, police forces across the UK have recorded at least 191 cases of chemical attacks.
Nationwide last year saw an increase of almost 50 per cent, with an increase in incidents from 463 in 2015 to at least 686 in 2016.
This is what you should do in an acid attack
- Make sure that the area around the casualty is safe. Wear gloves to prevent you coming into contact with the chemical. If the chemical is in powder form, it can be brushed off of the skin.
- Flood the burn with water for at least 20 minutes to disperse the chemical and stop the burning. Ensure that the water does not collect underneath the casualty.
- Gently remove any contaminated clothing while flooding the injury.
- Arrange to send the casualty to hospital. Monitor vital signs, such as breathing, pulse and level of response.
You should never attempt to neutralise acid or…