Figure 4-74.Moving a victim away from an electrical line.
dressing, and transporting the victim to a medical
Before treatment is started, ensure that the vic-
tim is no longer in contact with a live electrical
source. Shut the power off or use a nonconduct-
ing rope or stick to move the victim away from
the line or the line away from the victim (fig.
When acids, alkalies, or other chemicals come
in contact with the skin or other body membranes,
they may cause injuries that are generally referred
to as chemical burns. For the most part, these in-
juries are not caused by heat but by direct
chemical destruction of body tissues. Areas most
often affected are the extremities, mouth, and
eyes. Alkali burns are usually more serious than
acid burns, because alkalies penetrate deeper and
When such burns occur, the following
emergency procedures must be carried out
1. Quickly flush the area with large amounts
of water, using a shower or hose, if
available. Do not apply water too force-
fully. Continue to flood the area while the
clothing, including shoes and socks, is be-
ing removed, as well as afterwards. NOTE:
There are two exceptions to the above. In
alkali burns caused by dry lime, the mixing
of water and lime creates a very corrosive
substance. Dry lime should be brushed
away from the skin and clothing, unless
large amounts of water are available for
rapid and complete flushing. In acid burns
caused by phenol (carbolic acid), wash the
affected area with alcohol because phenol
is not water soluble; then wash with water.
If alcohol is not available, flushing with
water is better than no treatment at all.
After thorough washing, neutralize any
chemical remaining on the affected area.
WARNING: DO NOT attempt to neutral-
ize a chemical unless you know exactly
what it is and what substance will neutralize
it. Further damage may be done by a
neutralizing agent that is too strong or in-
correct. For acid burns make a solution of
1 teaspoon of baking soda in a pint of
water and flush it over the affected area.
For alkali burns mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of
vinegar in a pint of water and flush it over
the affected area.
Flush the area again with water and gently
pat dry with a sterile gauze. Do not rub the
The one and
the victim to a medical treatment
to the Eye
only emergency treatment is to
flush the eye(s) immediately with large amounts
of water or a sterile saline solution. Acid burns
to the eyes should be irrigated for at least 5 to
10 minutes with at least 2000 ml of water. Alkali
burns should be irrigated for at least 20 minutes.
Because of the intense pain, the victim may be
unable to open the eyes. If this occurs, hold the
eyelids apart so that water can flow across the eye.
A drinking fountain or field water buffalo
may be used to supply a steady stream of water.
Hold the victims head in a position that allows
water to flow from the inside corner of the eye
toward the outside. Do not allow the water to fall
directly on the eye, not use greater force than is
necessary to keep the water flowing across the eye.
CAUTION: Never use any chemical antidotes
such as baking soda or alcohol in treating burns
of the eye and do not try to neutralize chemical