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Recommended action following an acid attack


 Acid attack image

Burns caused by acid, alkaline or caustic chemicals can be very damaging and need immediate medical attention. Make sure you know what to do in an emergency.

Call 999 and ask for urgent help.

Immediate first aid 

After calling 999, to help prevent severe injuries from a chemical burn:

  • Try to carefully remove the chemical and any contaminated clothing
  • Rinse the affected area using as much clean water as possible


Remove the chemical and affected clothing

  • Try to remove the chemical and contaminated clothing from contact with the skin and eyes, but be very careful not to touch or spread the chemical as this could lead to further injuries to the victim or the person helping them.
  • Use gloves or other protective materials to cover hands and, if possible, carefully cut away clothing such as T-shirts, rather than pulling them off over the head.
  • Do not wipe the skin as this may spread contamination.
  • If the chemical is dry, brush it off the skin.


Rinse continuously with clean water

  • Rinse the affected area continuously with clean water as soon as possible to remove any residual chemical.
  • Try to make sure the water can run off of the affected area without pooling on the skin and potentially spreading the chemical to a wider area.
  • Only use water – do not rub or wipe the area.

Stay on the phone until the ambulance arrives and follow any other advice given by the 999 call handler to avoid further injury.

Source NHS 2017



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