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The reason for this article is that so many people are getting attacked nowadays as so many evil people see acid as the punishment of sorts for whatever they feel offended by. So many victims in the aftermath have had their lives changed forever because of this. The victims, mainly women, do not have the prescience to know what is about to befall them and they most definitely would probably have fared better if someone had given them information on what to do in the event of such an unfortunate and unexpected eventuality.
What is an acid?
In chemistry, an acid is defined as a substance that turns litmus red, neutralizes alkalis, and such things; but for the purpose of this article, I will define for the layman thus:
An acid, (at least the ones usually employed for these dastardly acts) is a corrosive liquid that is the equivalent of liquid fire.
Yes, it is fire and it sometimes does more damage than fire itself. So have it at the back of your mind that an acid is just fire.
Many people know that if your clothes catch fire, you should drop, roll and try to smother the fire. But people also need to know what to do if it is acid that they have on them.
What to do if acid is thrown at you.
If you see any liquid thrown at you,(even if it's water) especially at your face (because this is usually the site targeted by assailants for maximum damage), and you don't have time to duck and dodge, do all these things in quick succession:
1.Use your hand to shield your face from the liquid coming towards you at the same time close your eyes. Flee and while fleeing from the source of the attack, (because they can throw more at you) shout for help as you flee and shout as loud as you can.
Now, this is the most important part so I have to explain before I say the next steps.
Concentrated acid is highly destructive. To give you a mental picture of what it can do, if a drop is dropped on someone's hand, it will start burning or "eating" the surface where it is dropped. If nothing is done to halt its progress, it would continue till it gets to the bone and if nothing is done still, it can "eat" away the bone as well.
This is to show you the power of what you might be dealing with.
If unfortunately you are hit by the liquid, what you do, and do fast, will determine the outcome. The key word here is WATER.
You need water, and you need lots of it.
2. As you flee, either shout for people to bring water, or if you know a water source like a pool that won't take too much time to get to like a running tap, head there, if you see shops, grab water and use, you really need water and you need it badly.
If you can get to running water, get there and put the affected part under running water you need to be under continuous running water for at least 30 mins. This might sound odd but don't rush to the Hospital. It is the things you do immediately in the aftermath that would determine how severe the burns will be. You must be desperate to save yourself and reduce future disfigurement. Water, Water, Water. The mistake that people make is that they douse water quite all right, but they douse just like a cup etc and thereafter, head for hospital. The acid will continue destroying the patient's tissue all the way to the hospital and might even spread to other parts because of the little water.
To buttress this point, Two female British teenage charity workers had acid thrown at them in Zanzibar, and luckily for them, they were not too far from the sea so they dashed to the sea to wash off and today, the only way you would know anything happened to them is probably from slight skin colour difference on the site of the acid attack.
3. Don't put anything like oils, creams, ointments etc. as this might adversely affect the treatment doctors will give you later. Water is all you need before you get to the hospital.
4. Remove all the jewelry, clothing and apparel which had contact with acid.
5. When you have done all these things, head for hospital.
Prevention is better than cure though, so:
As a note of caution,
Be wary of someone coming towards you with a cup, bottle etc.
Be aware and alert of your surroundings and of people moving suspiciously around you.
Watch out for people who might bear a grudge against you. And if you see them approaching menacingly, run and alert people around as you do so.