How can YOU help someone with chemical burns? Important advice issued after spate of horrific acid attacks

The public has been issued advice following a spate of acid attacks across the UK.

St John Ambulance has released the information after police forces revealed there had been more than 400 such incidents in the space of just six months in England and Wales.

A spokesperson for the volunteer-led organisation is insisting that bystanders should know how to deal with the increased possibility of someone suffering chemical burns while around them in future.

The rep explained: “Our first aid trainers have reported a rise in the number of acid attack related questions and what steps to take if they witness an attack.”

St John Ambulance are keen for people to know that time is of the essence in the event of an acid attack in Manchester.

This means making quick decisions and taking the right steps. Here’s what you need to know.

Chemical burns

1. Make sure that the area around the casualty is safe. Wear gloves to prevent you coming into contact with the chemical. If the chemical is in powder form, it can be brushed off of the skin.

2. Flood the burn with water for at least 20 minutes to disperse the chemical and stop the burning. Ensure that the water does not collect underneath the casualty.

3. Gently remove any contaminated clothing while flooding the injury.

4. Arrange to send the casualty to hospital. Monitor vital signs, such as breathing, pulse and level of response.


• Never attempt to neutralise acid or alkali burns unless you are trained to do so.

• Do not delay starting treatment by searching for an antidote.

Chemical burns to the eye

1. Hold the casualty’s affected eye under gently running cold water for at least ten minutes. Irrigate the eyelid thoroughly both inside and out.

2. Make sure that contaminated water does not splash the uninjured eye.

3. Ask the casualty to hold a clean, non-fluffy pad over the injured eye.

4. Arrange to send the casualty to hospital.


• Do not allow the casualty to touch the injured eye.

• Do not forcibly remove a contact lens.

ATTACKED: THE MMU student had sulphuric acid sprayed at her

Earlier this year, Manchester student Resham Khan was left with horrific injuries after she was the victim of an acid attack in London.

 The 21-year-old – who attends Manchester Metropolitan University – was sprayed with sulphuric acid as she celebrated her birthday in London in June.

A fundraiser for her recovery has since reached £58,000 on Go Fund Me. 

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