Chemical and acid burns occur when skin comes into contact with an irritant. Every year, over 10,000 people are admitted to hospital for burn related injuries. Chemical and acid burns can be life threatening if left untreated.
However, the good news is an accredited first aider can provide potentially life-saving first aid to a casualty experiencing a chemical burn.
So, what do you do in a chemical burn emergency? Below we provide a guide to providing first aid to a casualty experiencing a chemical or acid burn.
How Should You Treat Acid and Chemical Burns?
When a burn first aid emergency occurs, you should call 999, remove the affected clothing, clean the wound, and follow telephone instructions until the paramedics arrive.
Remember, in any medical emergency, the first step is always to call 999. The handler will not only send medical professionals your location, but they will also walk you through the immediate first aid to administer. During the call you should describe the casualty’s symptoms with sufficient detail. Immediate first aid can help prevent severe injuries from the chemical burn and reduce the casualty’s recovery time.
The second step is to remove chemical and affected clothing. Before touching the affected area, you should put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands. Once you are wearing a protective material, you can begin treating the casualty.
Rinse the affected areas with water and remove any affected clothing too. Be careful not to touch any other parts of the body or to spread the chemical, as it could worsen the injury. If the chemical is dry, you can brush it off, but do not wipe the skin as it could contaminate the area.
When the ambulance arrives, paramedics will assess the casualty and transport them to the hospital. The treatment for chemical burns at the hospital generally includes washing the area with water until the substance is completely removed, dressing the wound, and relieving pain.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Chemical Burn?
The short answer is, it depends. The recovery time for a chemical burn depends on the severity of the injury and casualty received treatment.
Minor burns can heal reasonably quickly as only the outer layer of skin, and underlying layers of tissue, have been affected. With ongoing care, regular dressing checks and changes, the burn could heal entirely with minimal scarring.
Severe burns, on the other hand, may require specialist support. A casualty could be hospitalised for several days. Severe burns are deeper burns that could take months or years to heal fully. The burns could leave visible scarring too, but casualties can undergo different medical procedures, such as skin grafting or plastic surgery to replace the damaged skin.
First Aid Training for Chemical Burns from TL Training
With accredited first aid training, you will be able to provide chemical burn support in cases of emergency. The Three-Day First Aid at Work training course by TL Training covers administering immediate first aid across a wide range of first aid emergencies, including chemical burns.
The comprehensive three-day training course aims to prepare participants for emergencies in the workplace and beyond. After completing the training, you will know how to identify chemical burns, reduce a casualty’s pain, and treat the affected area.
TL Training is an accredited first aid training provider. Over our ten-plus years of operations, we have provided high-quality training to businesses of all sizes in Wirral, the wider North West, and right across the UK.