Wednesday, 3 September 2008


I almost forgot, my last shift before I went camping, we attended a machete attack in town. There had been some sort of altercation between some eastern europeans out side the local cinema. The police were already on scene and as we arrived we could see a young chap with his arm in the air with a dressing applied to his wound. We got the kit out and strolled across to him and the police officer, trying to avoid the blood trail. I like to keep my boots clean!
This chap was as calm as you like and spoke pretty good English. As we stood him up I could smell a faint whiff of alcohol on his breath, nothing unusual there then. On board we had to remove the police officer's dressing that he had carefully put over the wound. It was well done but slightly too small although doing the job reasonably well. With the wound exposed briefly we quickly inspected it. There was a large laceration from the elbow nearly reaching the armpit, blood was still oozing with all the fatty tissue and muscle exposed. Now with a larger dressing applied and the arm still elevated, the bleeding virtually stopped. The police officer apologised but said it was the largest dressing he had. It didn't matter it was good enough. The patients BP was good although his pulse rate was 124, a possible indicator of substantial blood loss. You see the body is a clever machine, it will compensate in times of crisis. Simply put; blood carries Oxygen to all the organs and tissues, if there is any significant drop in circulating blood volume the blood vessels will tighten up (maintaining blood pressure for a limited amount of tme) and the heart will beat faster to get the remaining Oxygen to the vital organs.
As a result I decided to put a 16g IV into one of his bulging veins in case he suddenly needed any fluids, he didn't and suprisingly he didn't need any pain relief. After an uneventful run into hospital he was deposited into the minor treatment area.
Later we found out that one of the more experienced A/E DRs had stiched the wound , internally & externally, in the dept itself. There was no lasting damage, only a long scar, a souvenier of his his travels to the UK. Lucky him!

That was just one of many knife attacks here in the UK and one four in my local area. As many of you know there are constant news stories of more and more teenagers dying or being badly injured through needless knife attacks everyday. I don't know what's wrong with these kids, they must see the news...........or don't they, even if they do they obviously don't give damn. What is driving them to do this, it's now almost a daily occurance in the news. What a lot of the public don't realise is that there are actually hundreds of knife attacks daily and only a very small minority reach the national press. The teenage thing is relatively new but knife crime in general is not. We have a far bigger problem with it than we do gun crime, unlike the States and south Africa where it's probably the opposite, I may be wrong. I know the larger cities like London, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham etc etc have quite a lot of gun crime but in the smaller towns it tends to be knives.

Back to the local knife incidents in my area.

1. Murder, female in her 20's knifed multiple times in front of her two young kids by her estranged husband, 2 crews from my station attended that. She died shortly after arriving in hospital.

2. Male slashed across the face by his so called partner, suffering a large facial laceration.

3. The machete attack I spoke of earlier.

4. Suicide, male slashed his wrists and then stabbed himself in the heart. I know this is suicide but it's still related because of the mechanism of injury.

I know it doesn't seem many but if you multiply these incidents by the number of towns through out the UK over a year it soon mounts up.

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