West Midlands Police helps launch first bleed control cabinet in response to stabbings

The UK’s first-ever kit to control bleeding has been installed at the scene of a stabbing in Birmingham.

Nov 20, 2020
By Paul Jacques
Superintendent Gareth Morris and the bleed control cabinet

The bleed control cabinet, designed to prevent catastrophic blood loss following trauma or violence while waiting for paramedics, was set up on Hurst Street where a woman was critically injured in a series of stabbings in the city in September.

The equipment, which can be used by any bystanders, including police officers who are often the first on the scene, contains a portable bleed kit similar to those found on ambulances.

It was installed by the Daniel Baird Foundation, which worked closely with West Midlands Police (WMP) on selecting its location.

It is the latest initiative by the Foundation, which was set up by the family of 26-year-old Daniel Baird, who was fatally stabbed outside a pub in Digbeth in 2017.

WMP Superintendent Gareth Morris said: “This emergency first aid kit will help Daniel’s memory go on in the lives that it will save.

“We are working tirelessly to tackle knife crime and recognise the devastating impact such violence has on families and the wider community.

“So we believe having kits like this available in those vital early minutes will help prevent more tragic and unnecessary deaths.”

The cabinet was designed and built by Turtle Engineering, in partnership with the Foundation.

Lynn Baird, Daniel Baird’s mother, who set up the Foundation, believes the kits could save lives and hopes they will be installed around the country.

She said: “In the year ending March 2020, there were around 46,000 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales. And while lockdown saw a reduction in knife crime, in the one week after lockdown, nine people in the UK still died from fatal stab wounds.

“We are delighted to announce this joint collaboration with Turtle Engineering. These public access kits are a vital tool in saving lives, so we are very excited that the UK’s first cabinet containing these kits is being installed in Birmingham. We hope this will be the first of many and look forward to seeing more of them.”

The cabinet contains a public access portable bleed kit, which has the same emergency medical parts found in an ambulance, such as absorbent dressings, a tourniquet and a chest seal, as well as full instructions for use.

Turtle Engineering says that in major UK cities it takes an ambulance seven minutes (on average) to get to the scene of a catastrophic bleed injury, so these cabinets “can be vital in bridging this gap, and ensuring people don’t bleed to death in the street”.

Mike Dawson, managing director of Turtle Engineering, said: “Bleeding from trauma injuries can prove fatal in three to five minutes so we are making it our mission to try and get the cabinets and bleed kits truly accessible in all major towns and cities throughout the UK.”

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