Acid Attacks: First Aid Advice

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Acid Attacks: First Aid Advice


Acid attacks are on the increase, it is scary to think that in the last 6 months alone, there have been 400 attacks.

Do you know what to do to help victims and give them the best chance of recovery?


Urgent advice has been issued by ambulance officers and medical staff in the wake of recent events.

Latest advice for Acid Attacks

  1. Check the area and make sure it is safe, don’t forget to protect yourself from the chemicals (if possible wear gloves)
  2. Act quickly to minimise damage to eyes, skin and surrounding areas. If the chemical is in powder form brush off as much as you can.
  3. Flush the burn with water to dilute the chemical. Make sure that you are flushing the burn away from uninjured tissue (injured side down)
  4. Keep this up for at least 20 mins or until medical help arrives
  5. Be aware of contaminated water. Do not allow the casualty to lie in it
  6. While flushing the burn, try and remove any contaminated clothing.
  7. Continue checking the casualty’s vital signs, check they are breathing and responsive.



Your early intervention could “substantially improve the outcome”, according to senior figures from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and Barts Health NHS Trust.


Johann Grundlingh, an emergency consultant at Barts tells us most people understand that we need to use water on burns, but they don’t understand how much is required.


 a small 350ml bottle of water is not going to help. It’s the volume of water that is necessary and that people don’t know about and we encourage people to use litres and litres of water.”


Your priority is to get water, so direct bystanders to go to local shops, or find a tap. To put this in perspective, you need to use between 40 – 60 litres of water to dilute an acid burn.  This would give the victim the “best chance of escaping long-term injury.”


For more information on our upcoming first aid courses

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