Recall the most horrible thing that has ever happened to you. Now just imagine having to live with a constant reminder of it, every day. That’s the life of a vitriolage or more commonly known as an ‘acid attack’ victim. I can’t even begin to comprehend the misery of an acid attack victim but the pain isn’t just physical, it shatters the very soul of the person.

While there are several organizations that are working day and night to improve the lives of acid attack victims, there’s no knowing when one might fall prey to this devastating tragedy. Owing to that, I’ve collected a few immediate measures that one can take to minimize the effect of an acid attack on someone.

Lakshmi Aggarwal, acid attack survivor and an Indian campaigner against acid attacks on women in India

1. Turn Away From The Attacker As Soon As Possible 

Although, it is like stating the obvious but it is indeed the first, most immediate step to an acid attack. Throwing acid on someone is an act of surprise, which is why the victim usually gets stunned and stupefied. Bringing consciousness into motion at that moment can definitely prevent the damage to a large extent.

2. Rinse The Affected Area With Cold Water 

Put the affected area under cold running water for as long as the burning sensation doesn’t stop. Make sure that the water isn’t contaminated as it could lead to more infections in the affected area. The spray of water shouldn’t hard as well.

3. Call For An Ambulance/ Seek Medical Attention 

While you are trying to provide first aid care to the victim, do not forget to call for medical assistance as there’s not really much what you can do to save the victim. A medical practitioner understands the know-hows of determining the type of acid and the consequential treatment of its burns.

4. Remove Any Jewelry Or Clothing With Acid On It 

Removal of any clothing or jewelry with acid on it is the next step. The contaminated jewelry or clothing can severely increase the magnitude of burns by reacting with the acid, hence, it is important to get rid of them quick so that medical specialists don’t have trouble recognizing the acid type.

5. Remove The Chemical From The Affected Area 

Don’t let the acid stay on the skin for a long duration of time as the longer it stays, the more it’ll react with the skin and more damage it’ll cause. Let the water rinse it through or use gloves to remove the chemical from the skin as soon as possible.

 

IMPORTANT: I just recently came across a WhatsApp message that claimed that milk and baking soda should be poured on the acid burns immediately after the attack as it neutralizes the acid.

I would like you all to know that this is absolutely false. In fact, it could be very dangerous. The acid may react violently with base releasing a huge amount of heat, which would eventually cause an even higher degree of burn.

So please don’t attempt such a task.

That’s the most basic first-aid care that you can provide to anyone in case of an acid attack. Remember to stay alerted and responsive.

May you never have to use it.


Image Credits: Google Images

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