A battery acid burn, like all chemical burns, can cause a great deal of damage to the skin. When the acid accidentally comes in contact with the skin or the eyes, it is imperative to take actions immediately. Here are some quick first aid tips to help minimize the damage while waiting for professional medical assistance to arrive.
Assess the area where the acid came into contact with the skin. If the area is the hands, face or feet, immediately wipe the area with a wet cloth to remove the top layer of the acid.
Remove any clothing or jewelry that may have come in contact with the acid. This will help to ensure the acid does not have a chance to accidentally come in contact with another sections of skin and exacerbate the problem.
Use running water to flush out the area. For hands and feet, stick the affected area under an open spigot and allow the water to run over the area for at least 15 minutes. If the eyes are involved, lay the person flat and hold the eyelids open. Run a low pressure flow of cool water over the eyes for the full 15 minutes.
Determine if professional medical attention is needed. After 15 minutes of flushing the affected area, stop the use of water and observe the appearance of the area. If the skin is continuing to discolor, transport the individual to an emergency room or a doctor’s office. If the eyes were involved and appear to be bloodshot and swollen, call for paramedics immediately and resume flushing the eyes with cool water. Should the person exhibit any symptoms of shock, seek medical attention at once.
Wrap the affected area with clean sterile dressing, such as gauze pads. This will help to prevent any foreign agents from reaching the tender skin until a doctor can look at the burn and prescribe a cream or ointment.
Keep the individual as calm as possible. While this may be relatively simple if the acid burn is on the hand or feet, this may be a more difficult process if the eyes are involved. Keep the cool water running until professional help arrives.
Maintaining a cool head and beginning to administer treatments immediately can help to calm the patient and also minimize the chances for any type of permanent damage.
Do not delay the beginning of treatments. If no running water is available, then pour bottled or other water over the infected area continuously until help arrives. Any flushing that can be done under the circumstances will enhance the chances of avoiding any type of permanent damage.