ACID ATTACK VICTIMS
In India there were approx. 300 recorded attacks in 2016. These are recorded attacks. Many attacks go unreported which means that the real number is likely to exceed 1,000.
An acid attack is the premeditated act of throwing corrosive acid or any other type of noxious or corrosive fluid onto the face and body, with the intent to disfigure, torture or kill the victim. The acid or corrosive fluid causes lifelong scarring, physical disfigurement and, in some cases, permanent disability including blindness, immobility and even death.
Acid attacks happen across the world; however, it is difficult to understand the true scale and prevalence of the issue for a number of reasons, including the fact that all too often it’s a crime that goes unreported and unpunished, as survivors of acid attacks live in fear of reprisals for reporting the attack.
Many of the countries where acid violence occurs possess high levels of violence against women. Like other forms of violence against women, acid attacks arise due to inequitable gender relations.
EFFECTS ON THE BODY :
Acid can have a catastrophic effect on human flesh. It causes the skin tissue to melt, often exposing the bones below the flesh, sometimes even dissolving the bone. In some cases when acid has come into contact with the eyes, they have been known to discolour and even burst. After an acid attack, the skin is at an extremely high risk for infection.
Survivors can face permanent disfigurement and often social isolation, devastating their self-esteem and psychological wellbeing.
Since many victims are left blind or with disfigured hands, it can be difficult to work or do simple daily tasks around the house. The victims are often left dependent on spouses or family members, and many suffer depression, anxiety, panic attacks or other mental health conditions that make it difficult for them to even leave the house out of fear of public reactions to their face and/or body. Some victims may even feel suicidal.
CAUSES OF ACID ATTACK VICTIMS :
- Hate crime.
- Domestic violence or honour-based violence.
- Terror-related violence.
- Conflicts over land ownership, housing and property.
- Conflicts between criminal gangs.
MANAGEMENT WAYS :
- Continuously wash the acid-affected area of the skin immediately with clean water to disperse the chemicals and stop the burning and melting of the skin. The dousing needs to be continuous for a minimum of 20 minutes, and ideally until the burning sensation subsides.
- Do not rub the affected area with your hands, clothes or other materials.
- Remove any piece of jewellery (earrings, rings, necklaces, chains etc.) worn by the survivor at the earliest. This will stop any adverse chemical reaction from taking place.
- In case the acid has affected the survivor’s eyes, stop them from rubbing or touching their eyes as it might worsen the condition. Gently pour water on the affected eyes continuously until burning subsides.
- It is advised not to put any sort of antiseptic ointment or household cream on the burnt skin as it will only delay the standard treatment procedure by doctors. Also, the affected area should not be bandaged with any gauze or cotton fabric.
- As soon as possible, remove the survivor’s acid-drenched clothes.
- Take off contaminated clothing to remove the chemical and to make it easier to flush affected skin, but take great care not to pull clothing over the head. Instead, consider cutting off clothing to prevent the spread of the contamination of the chemical even further.
- Cool the burn under cold running water for at least 20 minutes. This will help to cool the burn and wash out the chemical.
- If you don’t have access to water, you can use other harmless liquids; these are ones that you could drink such as milk or cola.
- All burns, no matter how they are caused, are treated the same with cold, running water or harmless liquid, but when the burn is caused by acid or a chemical, it needs to be flushed with cold running water for much longer.
- While flushing the skin, care must be taken to prevent the water from flowing over unaffected areas as this will spread the damage. The priority is to remove the acid (not neutralise it) from the casualty as quickly as possible as burning will continue until all of the chemical has gone.
- If the acid burn is to the eye, hold the casualty’s affected eye under gently running cold water for at least 20 minutes. Irrigate the eyelid thoroughly both inside and out and make sure that contaminated water does not splash the uninjured eye. Do not forcibly remove a contact lens if the person is wearing them.
- Comforting the person is also a really important part of any first aid as it calms the person and decreases stress levels, which have been shown to help with recovery.
- Don’t cover acid burns with bandages or burns dressings and do not try to wipe the acid off the skin using a damp cloth as this can cause more harm.
- Anyone providing first aid to an acid attack victim should ensure that they do not become another casualty themselves. They should avoid direct contact with the fluid and this includes breathing in any fumes.
- One of the most common misconceptions is that an acid burn should be immediately treated with oil or ointment, but this could actually slow the treatment procedure by doctors or worsen the burns.
HOMOEOPATHY MANAGEMENTS FOR ACID ATTACK VICTIMS:
IN CASES OF BURNS IN ACID ATTACKS VICTIMS:
Scalds - Result from partial-thickness or deep dermal skin loss.
Fat burns - Usual full-thickness skin loss.
Aconite – use immediately after the accident to counteract the nervous shock or when reaction has taken place, and there is dry, burning heat of the skin, heat hot and painful, face is red, pulse hard, frequent and contracts. There is great restlessness, panic and fear of death.
Arsenicum - Deep burns with vesicles and infected flesh that turn black showing tendency towards gangrene, Inflammatory swelling, with burning, lancinating pains. Infection from dead tissue remaining in the wound great anguish and restlessness, changes place constantly. Fents death and being left above. Thinks it is useless to take medicine. Prostration which may seem out of proportion with the situation colic after severe burn.
Calendula - This remedy is useful for minor superficial burns caused by fire or the sun. Calendula also prevents gangrene and promotes granulation as well as prevents disfiguring scars. Prevents loss of blood and excessive pain. It is a good remedy to use to promote healing after specific acute remedies have removed the shock, pain and immediate symptoms. Use this remedy internally in potency and externally as a lotion.
Cantharis - If used early it will prevent the formation of blisters. This is the most used remedy for scalds, burn and sunburns with vesicular character, blisters and superficial ulceration. Small blisters coalesce to form large blisters. Burns and scald with rawness and burning > by cold applications, followed by undue inflammation. Tetanic or epileptiform convulsions followed by coma. Extensive burns cause a renal complication. Patient is < by touch, approach and > rest. Use internally and externally in lotion.
Carbolic Acid– Useful for the ill effects of deep burns as well as old burns do not get well. Chemical burns and scalds. Intensely sympathetic, thinking of complaints aggravate them.
MENTAL AFFECTION ,TRAUMA AFTER THE TRAUMATIC EVENTS IN CASES OF ACID ATTACKS -it can produce a remarkable effect on a person psychology ,the social stigma, the disfigurement, it effects a persons life very deeply ,it effects to such a extent that many patients experience ptsd.
Few medications which can help in this phase are as followed-
- Anguish and restlessness, changes place constantly – Ars.
- Fears death – Acon., Ars.
- Fears alone, and being- Ars.
- Nervous shock- Acon.
- Panic shock – Acon.
- Shock after severe, deep burns- Arn.
- Sympathetic, intensely, thinking of complaints aggravates them – Caust.
- Useless thinks it is, to take medicine – Ars.
- Old burns do not heal – Carb. ac., Caust.