The first six emergency ‘bleeding control cabinets’ have been installed in Liverpool city centre in an attempt to save lives.
Each bright-red cabinet is accessible 24 hours a day using a code which is provided by calling 999 and speaking to the ambulance service and contains a portable bleed kit, which can be used as a vital tool to prevent and reduce major blood loss before paramedics arrive.
The newly installed cabinets have been put up in key locations across Liverpool city centre including in the Ropewalks and Mathew Street areas, with four more set to be installed in the next couple of weeks. This is just the start of the roll out of the life-saving equipment, with two cabinets already being installed near Formby beach and a further 20 expected to be put up in locations across the region identified through crime data and with input from outreach workers.
More than 1,500 of the individual accessible bleed kits have already been distributed to organisations and venues across the region, including clubs, bars and pubs, taxis, and schools.
Empowering the public
The roll out of the life-saving equipment has been spearheaded by charitable social enterprise KnifeSavers, which originates from the Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, and is part of a wider campaign focused on educating young people about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife, as well as educating and empowering the general public on how to act quickly to control major bleeding from any injury.
It was launched followed the fatal stabbing of 12-year-old Ava White in November 2021, and is supported by her mum, Leeann, and the foundation created in her memory.
The campaign is backed by the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, and Merseyside Police and supports the extensive work undertaken across the region to reduce and prevent serious violence, which has led to a 22% decrease in knife offences from June 2022 to June 2023 and continues to reduce.
‘Every second counts’
KnifeSavers founder and consultant trauma surgeon at Aintree Hospital, Nikhil Misra, said, “Whether it’s a knife wound, or an injury from a fall or a car crash, every second counts when it comes to controlling the bleeding and hopefully saving someone’s life.
“These kits provide the essential equipment needed to reduce and prevent catastrophic bleeding until the arrival of paramedics and it’s our mission to try and get the cabinets and bleed kits truly accessible across the whole of the North West, and then all of the country.
“The kits are only a part of a much larger regional campaign which is centred on education about recognising the time critical need to recognise and control major bleeding, and the potentially fatal risks of carrying a knife and a single knife wound.”
“My priority, and the priority of our Violence Reduction Partnership and Merseyside Police, is on stopping serious violence and preventing tragedies from taking place, so it is my profound wish these cabinets will never be needed.
“But we know bleeding from a knife wound can prove fatal in as little as five minutes, so the emergency first aid delivered immediately after an injury is critical.
“By supporting KnifeSavers to make these kits publicly accessible 24/7, if a serious incident does occur, we can help a member of the public to minimise blood loss until professional medical help arrives. This has the power to save lives and prevent other mothers from enduring the heartache Leeann has suffered.”Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell
The installation of the first six cabinets in the city centre has also been supported by Liverpool Nightlife CIC.
Members of the public can access the locked cabinets by ringing 999 where the emergency services will then provide them with an access code and give them simple instructions on how to use the kits.
The equipment, which can be used by any bystanders, including police officers who are often the first on the scene, include scissors, gloves, tourniquets and a chest wound sealant and can be used during any severe bleed trauma incidents.
To find out how to use the kits and where they are located, please visit www.knifesavers.co.uk
A free KnifeSavers app, which gives people advice on how to stop bleeding is available to download on all devices. Search for ‘knifesavers’ on the App Store or Google Play.