'City's stab victims are getting younger,' warns top doctor at Sheffield hospital

Dr Anil Hormis,Consultant in Major Trauma atSheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Dr Anil Hormis,Consultant in Major Trauma atSheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
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A top consultant has warned that knife attack victims being admitted to Sheffield's major trauma centre are getting younger and are presenting with multiple stab wounds.

Following the 23rd stabbing incident in Sheffield this year, The Star contacted Dr Anil Hormis, Consultant in Major Trauma at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for an insight into the impact caused by the number of knife attacks taking place in the city.

Northern General Hospital is Sheffield's major trauma unit, and Dr Hormis said the hospital is seeing an increase in knife wounds.

"From personal experience, I have seen an increase in victims of penetrating trauma that are coming into the Northern General Hospital. Patients are younger and presenting to hospital with multiple stab wounds that require complex and prolonged surgery to try and repair the damage to the body," said Dr Hormis, who is also a professor at Sheffield Hallam University.

Dr Hormis added that paramedics do not have much of a chance of stopping internal bleeding at the scene, and so getting the victim of a knife attack to Northern General as quickly as possible is vital.

He said: "The knife can cause immense damage to any of the internal organs in the body. We see injuries to the lungs, the bowels, major blood vessels with a lot of the fatal injuries occurring if the patients are stabbed in the chest and the knife has penetrated the heart. The victims initially lose a lot of blood at the scene. Our paramedic colleagues have little ability to stop the internal bleeding out of hospital and so bring the patients into the Emergency Department as quickly as possible.

"Inside the resuscitation room (RESUS), the patients are met by the Trauma Team. This is a highly trained team of in-hospital specialists (emergency physicians, anaesthetists and surgeons) who organise and coordinate a thorough assessment of the patient and start to resuscitate them to make them as fit as possible to be able to undergo emergency surgery.

"The patients are often given blood transfusions and anaesthetised so they can be taken to the operating theatre as quickly as possible. In some cases emergency surgery needs to be carried out in the emergency department."

Dr Hormis' comments come after The Star launched a campaign, calling for people to drop the knife in a bid to make the city's streets safer.

Earlier this month, 21-year-old Kavan Brissett became the fifth person in Sheffield to die from a knife attack this year.

Mr Brissett was stabbed in an alleyway off Langsett Walk, Upperthorpe just before 6.45pm on August 14, and died from him his wounds on August 18.

Police have arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder. Three boys, two aged 17 and one aged 16, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rob. All have been released on bail as detectives continue to investigate.