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14 July 2017, 13:39
There has been a worrying rise in the number of acid attacks across London - so this is what you should do if you’re sprayed with a corrosive substance.
Last night five suspected acid attacks took place in the capital in less than two hours, leaving one man with “life-changing injuries”.
It comes as LBC learned of a sharp increase in the number of attacks using acid, with three a week being carried out in the capital.
Acid can penetrate through to the victim’s bone and in the worst of cases lead to death.
Acid attack survivor Lynn Pereira speaks out
This advice from Stop Acid Attacks is how to treat an acid burn in the immediate aftermath once you have dialled 999.
1. The most important step is to immediately wash the affected body part with plenty of fresh or saline water
2. Dirty water can cause severe infection, so only rinse the burn with clean water
3. Keep flushing the burn with cool, but not very cold water until the burning sensation starts fading. This could take up to 45 minutes
4. Remove any jewellery or clothing which has had contact with the acid
5. Do not apply any cream or ointment as it may slow the treatment procedure by doctors
6. If possible, wrap the affected area in a sterilised gauze to protect the skin from air, debris, dirt and contamination
7. Get to A&E as quickly as possible
It's important that if you're helping somebody that you keep yourself protected.
Once initial hospital treatment is complete, acid burns need to be kept free from infection - with dressings changed reguarly.
Reconstruction surgery and physiotherapy may be required if nerves are permanently damaged.
You can find out more information about the aftercare process here.