QVH supports first aid guidance for acid attack victims

Thursday 31st August 2017

Burns experts at Queen Victoria Hospital are supporting new first aid guidance launched today to help ensure victims of acid and chemical attacks get the right help fast.

‘Acid attacks’ where corrosive substances are used as part of a violent assault or robbery, have been the subject of much media interest, with reported cases across the UK including in the south east.

Last year specialists at Queen Victoria Hospital treated 159 patients suffering chemical burns – (both acids and alkaline), many of whom will continue to receive treatment from the hospital’s multidisciplinary team for many years. Queen Victoria Hospital provides all levels of care for adults with burns and up to high dependency care for children

The new guidance from NHS England, in partnership with the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and the British Burn Association, called Report, Remove, Rinse, encourages members of the public to:

  • Report the attack: dial 999
  • Remove contaminated clothing carefully
  • Rinse the skin immediately under cool running water.

Nora Nugent, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Queen Victoria Hospital, said: “The minutes after an acid attack, or burn of any kind, are crucial and can make a significant difference to the outcomes of someone affected. Knowing what to do to help yourself or someone else is vital, especially if you’re first at the scene, and can help the emergency services and also specialist centres such as QVH to treat the burns.

“We hope the new guidance from NHS England will help people understand what they should do in the event of an acid or chemical attack and how important it is to remove contaminated clothing and rise the burn before the emergency services arrive. Acting quickly can help reduce immediate pain and long-term scarring.”

For more information please contact the QVH Press Office on 01342 414508.