THE news that there have been 30 under 16-year-olds killed in London in the last year is sadly the tip of the iceberg of an epidemic of knife crime that has seen thousands of hospital admissions.

Not all are gang related. The brutal and senseless murder of more than one high-profile Member of Parliament shows that it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Knife crime is mostly on the rise in the youth age group, yet is a problem we all must become vigilant to, in the same way as any public health crisis.

Carrying a weapon of any sort is more likely to result in the wearer and associates becoming targets.Thankfully it’s estimated that less than one percent of the population illegally carry a knife or gun.

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Police have the authority to randomly stop and search if they feel a person may have an item of concern on their body.

The repercussions of knife crime are far wider reaching than the number of deaths. Non-fatal stabbings can result in life changing injuries.

The person may be unable to return to the life or occupation they had before, needing continuing physical, psychological and financial support.

In a pandemic where we have seen routine healthcare provision suffer, it is worth noting that the management of knife crime prevents other surgical operations from being performed, with victims often needing intensive care unit support and prolonged inpatient stays.

Healthcare professionals dealing with victims of knife crime also report high levels of distress as a result of their experiences.

A single random act, often done in the heat of the moment, has the devastating ability to affect several lives forever.

The initial management of a knife wound is the same as for any penetrating trauma, like a DIY accident, and could just save a life. If you see someone in this situation, please do not walk by, as long as your assistance will not put you in danger. If you carry disposable gloves, please wear these for your own protection.

After ringing 999, try to get the person to sit or lie down so that they do not collapse. If an arm or leg has been injured, raise this above the level of the person’s heart, to reduce blood loss.

Do not remove any blade or object as this could result in catastrophic haemorrhage. Instead apply pressure to the wound to reduce blood loss. The tight application of a makeshift tourniquet above the wound may be vital in reducing blood loss until emergency services arrive.