Wednesday 6 Feb 2013
Gang members are being given first aid tips (Picture: Getty)
Teen gang members are being given medical training so they can step in to save the victims of street stabbings.
They will learn first aid from volunteer doctors and medical students who say teaching them to stem blood loss could save lives.
Gang members who witness violence are often prepared to help casualties but end up panicking and running off as they don’t know what to do, the StreetDoctors group claims.
As they are ‘all too often’ present during stabbings, training them is providing a ‘reservoir of healthcare providers,’ founder Dr Nick Rhead said.
‘They are able to act positively to help save a friend,’ he said.
Giving patients help in the moments after a stabbing can vastly improve the ambulance crew’s chances of keeping them alive when they reach the scene, Dr Rhead added. The first aid classes, already running in Liverpool,
Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield, are now being introduced in three London boroughs.
It comes after 16-year-old Hani Abou El Kheir was stabbed to death by a gang armed with swords and knives in Pimlico, west London.
A 19-year-old man was charged this week with his murder.
Violence is the third-biggest cause of death of young people in Europe, and knife crime caused more than 100 deaths in London alone in 2010-2011, StreetDoctors says.
‘Some of these deaths happen because the people present do not know what to do,’ a spokesman for the group said. ‘They panic and don’t call for help.’