Sheffield Children’s Hospital medic urges young people to stop carrying knives
A consultant at Sheffield Children’s Hospital has urged young people to stop carrying knives in a bid to save lives and the future generation.
Dr Clare O’Connell, a consultant in emergency medicine, has spoken out as part of a week of action in Sheffield where police officers are tackling knife crime as part of a national initiative.
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Recalling incidents in which children have been admitted to hospital with knife wounds, Dr O’Connell said: “Sadly over the last couple of years, there’s been a worrying rise in knife crime nationally and we see the consequences of that here in the hospital.”
Last May, 15-year-old Sam Baker was stabbed to death when violence flared in the Lowedges area.
His killer, who was 15 at the time, was sentenced to two years and eight months in a young offenders institute after admitting the attack, in which Sam was stabbed twice in his chest.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Sam had been carrying the knife which was later used against him.
Dr O’Connell added: “When a victim of knife crime to the hospital it’s often a distressing time – the child is often distressed and upset and scared; their parents are often worried and anxious. There’s often a lot of people that come with them and there’s a lot of staff required to look after these children from all sorts of different specialities.
“Obviously our priority is the injured child but in addition to that we also have to worry about the safety of our own staff and everyone else within the department, so often we have to call our security staff to come and help; often the police are involved.”
She added: “Tragically, we have seen deaths from knife crime here in the Trust. Obviously we see children under the age of 16, so we are seeing the youngest victims and no one wants to have to go and tell a parent that their child has been killed from their injury.
“We must educate the public so that they understand the tragic consequences of knife crime.
“We must do everything possible to stop children from carrying knives – we have to save the lives of children and the future generation.”