Acid Attacks in the UK Becoming the Weapon of Choice…

You will likely have seen the YouTube videos, News articles and heard from friends and family about the rise in reported ‘Acid Attacks’ in the UK.

There has been over 1,800 assaults with a corrosive substance since 2010, Metropolitan Police figures show, with figures still rising year on year and 454 assaults reported in 2016. (The Telegraph).

Corrosive substances aren’t always acidic, so its important to remember not to use anything other than water on them.

This Morning talks with a survivor of an acid attack, and gives advice on what to do…

 

Treatment Advice;

Recognition

It can be difficult recognise signs and symptoms of poisoning, however, you may be able to see, smell or be told what has been taken. Pass on any containers or other information about the substance, find out how much has been taken and when. Where possible, keep any samples of vomit for hospital analysis.

 

So what can I do about it?

For a corrosive substance:

  1. Remember to protect yourself. Is it safe to enter? Do you have any PPE (Gloves, apron etc)?
  2. Dilute the substance or wash it away if possible. This will require 40-60 litres of CLEAN WATER
  3. Encourage the patient to take off any contaminated clothing – you can help if you have PPE
  4. If the substance has been swallowed, then get them to rinse of their mouth and encourage them to take sips of water or milk.
  5. Call 999/111 – you will likely get the Fire Service as well as an Ambulance
  6. If they become unconscious but are breathing, then place in the recovery position.
  7. Prepare to resuscitate if they stop breathing.

For a non-corrosive substance:

  1. Call 999/111 for advice/help
  2. If they become unconscious but are breathing, then place in the recovery position.
  3. Prepare to resuscitate if they stop breathing.

 

Want to know more? Attend a training course which covers this topic:

QA Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid At Work (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award In Basic Life Support and Safe Use of an Automated External Defibrillator (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award in Basic Life Support and Management of Anaphylaxis (QCF)
QA Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (QCF)

Tell us your experiences below!

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