New advice for 'acid attack' victims following recent rise in demand for NHS help
BAPRAS, the British Burn Association, the NHS and leading burns surgeons are today issuing new first aid guidance to help ensure victims of acid attacks get the right help fast.
The assistance for victims comes as new data from NHS England show the number of people requiring specialist medical help for this type of assault is on the rise. In 2014, 16 people required specialist medical advice, rising to 25 in 2015 and increasing further to 32 last year. The level of demand for specialist burns help so far in 2017 suggests there will be another rise in patient numbers this year.
So-called ‘acid attacks’, where corrosive substances are used as part of a violent assault or robbery, have become increasingly prominent, with a series of high-profile incidents this year. As well as significant harm caused to individuals, the NHS estimates that the average cost of care for a victim requiring specialist burns treatment, eye care, rehabilitation and mental health treatment is £34,500.
The guidance - Report, Remove, Rinse - has been developed with specialist BAPRAS burns and trauma surgeons, who have treated victims of these attacks.
Whilst the overall number of people impacted by this type of attack remains low, people are advised to take three simple steps in the event they witness or are victim of an attack:
- Report the attack: dial 999.
- Remove contaminated clothing carefully.
- Rinse skin immediately in running water.
Our President, Mr David Ward commented that “the minutes after an acid attack are critical for helping a victim. This guidance BAPRAS has published with NHS England gives the important, urgent steps a victim or witness can take to help reduce the immediate pain and damage, and long-term injuries.”
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