First aid for acid attacks
A shocking spate of acid attacks have hit the headlines in
recent months. Make sure you know what to do if you witness an
- 1. 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.
- 2. 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.
- 3. Gently remove any contaminated clothing while flooding the
- 4. Arrange to send the casualty to hospital. Monitor vital
signs, such as breathing, pulse and level of response.
- • Never attempt to neutralise acid or alkali burns
unless you are trained to do so
- • Do not delay starting treatment by searching for an
Chemical burn to the eye
- 1. Hold the casualty’s affected eye under gently running cold
water for at least ten minutes. Irrigate the eyelid thoroughly both
inside and out.
- 2. Make sure that contaminated water does not splash the
- 3. Ask the casualty to hold a clean, non-fluffy pad over the
- 4. Arrange to send the casualty to hospital.
- • Do not allow the casualty to touch the injured
- • Do not forcibly remove a contact lens