Evening Standard – How to Help Knife & Gun Crime Victims

stabbing, shooting, major bleed, first aid, how to help, emergency

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A first aid expert has revealed her “simple steps” to helping victims of stabbings and shootings amid a shocking wave of violent crime in London.

Emma Hammett, an experienced nurse and the founder of First Aid for Life, provides a detailed guide on dealing with injuries and accidents, and says that catastrophic bleeding can happen “any time, anywhere.”

Her post for medical blogging website The Hippocratic Post comes amid a sudden surge in knife and gun-related crimes in the capital, which has prompted Mayor Sadiq Khan to encourage the use of “targeted stop-and-search.”

She advises members of the public who encounter a victims suffering major bleeding to “always wear gloves.”

She states: “Sit or lie the person down – to manage shock and prevent them from feeling dizzy and faint.“Examine the area to see if there is anything stuck in the wound – if there is do not remove it.

“Elevate the bleeding area above the level of the heart to slow down the bleeding (although latest guidelines no longer recommend elevation as this alone will not stop bleeding and pressure is more important).

“Pressure – apply direct pressure on the wound to stop the blood coming out.”

Ms Hammett then instructs people to search for the source of the bleeding, adding: “Whether there are any foreign objects embedded in the wound – if so, do not remove them as they will be stemming bleeding, but apply direct pressure either side of the object.

“Apply direct pressure to try and control bleeding – if the bleeding is controlled with this direct pressure, keep holding for 10 minutes as it takes this amount of time for clots to form.”

The first aid expert further details how to recognise symptoms of shock in a victim, which include a rapid pulse, appearing pale and feeling cold and clammy.

She continues: “If the person is pale, cold, clammy and showing signs of shock, or if there is a lot of blood – help their circulation by lying them down and raising their legs.

“Elevate the bleeding wound and apply direct pressure to control the bleeding. Keep them warm and get emergency help.”

Ms Hammett also explains the use of a tourniquet in the cases of a catastrophic bleed – and how to improvise without the compressing device.

She adds: “One of the easiest way to make an improvised tourniquet using the contents of a standard First Aid kit is to use a triangular bandage folded into a broad fold bandage and tighten the tourniquet using your scissors as a windlass (if you have access to cutlery, such as a table knife, this would be even better as otherwise you no longer have your scissors available to use!).”

Ms Hammett’s medical insights come as Scotland Yard launched 56th murder investigation so far this year.


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