Acid attacks on the rise
But the true number may be more than 700, according to charity Acid Survivors Trust International.
According to the Met Police, 465 were recorded in London alone in 2017.
The increase in these acid attacks are believed to be fuelled by gangs. The gangs switch from using knives and guns to try to avoid tougher sentences if caught. A freedom of information request has shown that since 2012, 86% of acid attack victims didn’t have any relationship with their perpetrator.
The minutes after an acid attack are critical for helping a victim
Acids can cause chemical burns . However, very alkaline substances can be used too.
The burn can continue to cause damage for many hours after contact with the irritant. Treatment should be immediate irrigation for at least 20 minutes.
Treatment overview: here’s how to respond:
Report the attack: dial 999.
Remove contaminated clothing carefully.
Rinse skin immediately in running water.
First aid treatment step-by-step
Don’t become a secondary casualty
First aid can reduce pain, damage and long-term injuries
“BAPRAS surgeons specialising in burns and trauma have seen first-hand the devastating impact on patients admitted to A&E after vicious corrosive substance attacks. They cause severe pain, scarring which can be life-long, and can damage the sight, sometimes leading to blindness. Unfortunately these vindictive attacks are on the increase. “This guidance BAPRAS has published with NHS England gives the important, urgent steps a victim or witness can take to help reduce the immediate pain and damage, and long-term injuries.”
- Report the attack: dial 999.
- Remove contaminated clothing carefully.
- Rinse skin immediately in running water.
Written by Emma Hammett, CEO of First Aid for Life
First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. We strongly recommend that you attend a First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Book a first aid course now – the skills you learn could equip you with the knowledge to save your child’s life! https://www.firstaidforlife.org.uk First Aid for Life is a multi-award-winning fully regulated and Ofqual approved first aid training company. www.onlinefirstaid.com are the leading UK online first aid training providers to allow you to learn these vital skills when it suits you