UK: Rise of Extreme Knife Violence Sees Hospitals Forced to Adopt ‘Military Practice’

The London Ambulance Service said "multiple resources" were being sent to the scene of an incident on London Bridge

The rise of extreme knife violence, including machete attacks and torture, has seen hospitals forced to take on “military practice” in order to deal with the level of severe injuries now inflicted on UK streets.

Trauma units across the country have had to send staff to be trained in warzone-type emergency medicine techniques as A&E departments are faced with patients suffering life-threatening knife wounds with increasing frequency, according to a 2019 report.

The lead surgeon and major trauma director at St Mary’s, Paddington, Dr Shehan Hettiaratchy, said the “incredibly demanding” nature of treating knife crime victims has seen the London hospital finding vacant staff positions “difficult to fill”.

As the number of patients who were shot and stabbed increased to 26 and 352, respectively, last year, so too has the risk of gang violence ‘spilling over’ into the hospital wards, he said.

“We’ve had to expand our skill set [with methods that] aren’t commonplace and are are developed from military practice, like taking someone who is bleeding out straight to the operating theatre.”

Dr Adrian Boyle at Addenbrooke’s Hospital described how the “small numbers” of knife crime victims previously seen at the Cambridge A&E have increased to “a lot”, explaining that rising knife and drugs crime has seen violence spill out from England’s urban areas into towns and rural regions.

“Even in leafy Cambridge we’re seeing a significant increase in the number of knife injuries we’re treating. We’ve seen a 40 per cent increase from 2014 to 2018,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

According to Lucy Knell-Taylor, who works in hospitals with victims of youth crime, said so-called country lines drug running has brought problems including children whose bodies have been packed with Class A drugs for transport, while medics are increasingly treating people who have been “kidnapped and tortured”.

Redthread, a charity which works to support victims of  youth violence while they are receiving medical treatment, has recently worked with young people in the Midlands and London who “were put in the back of a car and over the course of a day repeatedly burned, cut – really scary stuff,” Knell-Taylor added.

U.S. President Donald Trump was attacked by the establishment media last year when he highlighted the rise of deadly knife violence in Britain, while delivering a speech at a National Rifle Association (NRA) event defending Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Responding to the president’s address, in which Trump pointed to the testimony of surgeons who compared working conditions in the UK capital’s trauma units to those in Afghan war zones, the Royal London Hospital admitted knife violence was a serious problem but — bizarrely — added that guns were “no solution”.


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