Acid attack: what to do
IT’S important to act quickly so as to minimise damage to the eyes, skin, and surrounding tissue.
Acid is a corrosive substance, and when it comes in contact with the skin can cause intense pain and lifelong injury.
After calling 999, the first step is to take precautions yourself, warns St John Ambulance.
Ensure the area around the victim is safe, and that there are no puddles of acid that might hurt others.
Dousing the victim with water to disperse the substance is key, and it should be done for up to 20 minutes.
There’s no point in searching for an antidote, and trying to neutralise burns with alkalis should not be attempted unless properly trained. Focus on “flooding” the injury with water.
Also important is – if possible – removing contaminated clothes that may cause further harm.
If acid is in the person’s eyes, hold them under gently running cold water for at least ten minutes, irrigating the eyelid both in and out. Don’t let them touch their eyes and don’t try to remove contact lenses.