Acid attack first aid

In recent years, robberies and attacks involving acid have increased with the number exceeding 500 in 2016/17. In November 2017, the Metropolitan Police Service led a multi-agency exercise to prepare hospitality businesses for acid attacks. How should you brief your staff?

The emergency services emphasise that the first few moments following an acid attack are crucial; effective action at this point can vastly improve the outcome for the victim.

Staff should: 1) ask someone to dial 999; 2) if possible, without contaminating themselves, remove contaminated clothing quickly but carefully (but do not forcibly remove it if the clothing is stuck); 3) apply substantial amounts of water to the affected skin.  Cool water should be continually used to flush the affected area until the burning sensation subsides. Do not apply creams.

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