06 August 2018

Growing rates of knife crime in large cities are putting pressure on blood stocks, a conference has heard.

Trauma surgeons reported how victims need substantial blood transfusions and repeated operations.

The problems were highlighted at a conference on knife crime held at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Incidence of knife crime has increased in England and Wales by 22% - with 40,000 offences reported last year, according to the RSM.

At the conference surgeons spoke of a “spike” in knife crimes at the end of the school day as young teenagers became involved in gang warfare or were influenced by social media.

The conference heard surgeons talk about a range of knife injuries, including chest injuries, vascular injury, penetrating renal injury and visceral trauma.

Reported in The Times, Mr Adam Brooks, a consultant surgeon in major trauma in Nottingham, told the conference: “These are trauma calls — these are not minor emergency department presentations. Unfortunately penetrating violence is not a London phenomenon.

“This is something we’re all seeing, in all the urban trauma centres.

“These guys are in our hospitals for a long time. This particular guy was in our hospital for four and a half months. It’s a good outcome — a neurologically intact outcome. Look at the resources: one patient. Four and a half months, 19 visits to theatre.”

Trauma surgeon Mr Duncan Bew, of King’s College Hospital, London, said there were “spikes in violent activity when people come out of the school gates.”

NHS Blood and Transplant said there was already a reduction in blood donations because of the sustained dry weather.

A spokesperson said: “If we don’t collect enough O negative blood donations in the coming weeks, stocks may fall below two days.”

Source: The Times / Royal Society of Medicine


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