Acid attacks have become more common in the recent years. It is common not to know what you should do if you are ever in the position of witnessing an attack like this but it is important that you help the victim if you can. Here are some of the things you need to know when dealing with acid attacks.
What To Expect
The victim is going to be in a lot of pain. They will likely start to panic, and they may not be able to respond to you. Their clothes will melt onto the body, and the dye will go onto the ground which could cause contamination issues, especially in a crowded area. If necessary, you should alert the people who are walking through the area that they may now have acid on their shoes and should not touch them until they have been thoroughly cleaned.
How fast the victim receives treatment is going to be crucial. You need to make sure that you or someone else has called 999 as quickly as possible and explain that there has been an acid attack. You will then get a response from the police, the fire service, and an ambulance. As well as this, if you saw the attacker, make a note of what they look like. Try your best to be able to describe them to the police when they get there. Make a note of where they went, what they looked like and if you know of any similar occurrences in the area. Do not neglect your own safety while doing this. Be aware that the attacker could still be in the area and try to get everyone who isn’t essential to leave.
Remove The Clothing
If you are going to deal with a victim of an acid attack, you must make sure that you are wearing the right protection. The SIA has listed the type of protection that you are going to need to do this. You can’t use surgical gloves as the acid will go through them and burn you. It is likely that the acid has burned the clothes onto the skin and if this has happened, then you should consider leaving the clothes in place or else you could cause the victim more pain. You should consider moving on to the rinse stage at this point, and it is possible that this may need to be done at the same time as this removing stage.
Rinse The Area
The affected area needs to be drenched in water so that the acid becomes diluted and the quicker you manage to do this the better. Never apply anything other than water unless you have received extensive training in this area. Continue to apply water until the emergency services arrive and if you have the materials, consider covering uninfected areas with dressing to avoid any further injuries.
If the victim stops breathing, do not perform mouth to mouth without a face shield. If you do not have this equipment, you should protect your hands with as many layers as possible and perform CPR this way. After this, you should hand treatment over to the emergency services, and you will need to be able to inform them what happened and what you have done so far.