‘Give public acid-attack training’
ACID attacks are now so prevalent that the public needs to be trained in helping victims, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has said.
In London alone the number of attacks soared from 261 in 2015 to 454 last year, an increase of 73 per cent. Doctors at the Royal College and Barts Health NHS Trust said that bystanders who come to the aid of victims need to know they must quickly remove contaminated clothing and wash off the acid with lots of water, which can lessen scarring and the need for plastic surgery.
They also called for legislation to make the carrying of corrosive substances in the street illegal. “The number of high-profile acid attacks has been increasing in recent years, espe- cially in London,” Johann Grundlingh, consultant emergency physician at Barts Health Trust, wrote in the British
Medical Journal. “The assailants’ intention is not to kill, but to maim and disfigure. Corrosive substances seem to be a replacement for carrying knives. Bystanders … can have an important role in minimising further injury.”