It’s an alarming fact that ‘acid attacks’ appear to be on the rise in the UK, and some of them appear to be linked to incidents of Hate Crime.
However, it’s important to note that some of the more recent attacks seem, on the face of it, to be acts of robbery as opposed to be incidents of Hate Crime but, nevertheless, we think it’s important to understand what to do in the event of such an attack.
The advice below, from ‘Stop Acid Attacks’, is how to treat an acid burn in the immediate aftermath once you have dialled 999…
- The most important step is to immediately wash the affected body part with plenty of fresh or saline water
- Dirty water can cause severe infection, so only rinse the burn with clean water
- Keep flushing the burn with cool, but not very cold water until the burning sensation starts fading. This could take up to 45 minutes
- Remove any jewellery or clothing which has had contact with the acid
- Do not apply any cream or ointment as it may slow the treatment procedure by doctors
- If possible, wrap the affected area in a sterilised gauze to protect the skin from air, debris, dirt and contamination
- Get to A&E as quickly as possible
It’s also important to note that if you’re helping somebody else, it’s vital that you keep yourself protected at the same time.
Remember, these types of attacks are, thankfully, very rare indeed, but it is vital that we know what the immediate steps are to try to minimise the effects where possible.
Interestingly, as I write this, I am distracted by the news that the government are reviewing the sentences and punishments handed down to perpetrators of acid attacks and that this will be debated the issue in the House of Commons this coming week.
So, let’s hope any changes to the law reflect the severity, anguish and life changing effects felt by all those affected by acid attacks.