Children Sewing Themselves Up After Being Stabbed To Avoid Going To Hospital

4 July 2019, 07:44 | Updated: 4 July 2019, 11:57

Rachael Venables

By Rachael Venables

An LBC investigation has found children as young as 14 are sewing up their OWN knife wounds to avoid going to the hospital.

For the first time last year, more than 1,000 10-19-year-olds were admitted to hospital with knife wounds.

But with doctors often expected to call police when they see a stab-victim, LBC has learned some teenagers are choosing to risk patching themselves up at home, rather than seeking medical help.

Stefan Brown is a former gang member, and now mediator, who runs ‘Stop Our Kids Being Killed On Our Streets’ and he’s told LBC he’s seen teens do this dozens of times.

Stefan Brown, the former gang member, who wants to bring this practice to attention
Stefan Brown, the former gang member, who wants to bring this practice to attention. Picture: LBC

The youngsters will douse the wound in cheap rum or vodka, tie some thick cotton to a weave a sharp hooked needle about two inches long. Then they will sew up their own - or their friend’s - wounds. These needles are normally used for putting in hair weaves and extensions.

He’s also seen superglue used, and seen them take out gunshot pellets with tweezers.

Mr Brown told LBC: “One day a kid is going to die because he’s sewn up his own wound in his bedroom, and it’s got infected or he’s got internal bleeding. All because he’s too scared to go to the hospital, and that can’t be right.”

One of the hooked needles that teenagers are using to sew themselves up after being stabbed
One of the hooked needles that teenagers are using to sew themselves up after being stabbed. Picture: LBC

This is all because gang members believe the police will be called if they turn up to A&E, and they run the risk of being arrested or investigated.

Guidance from the General Medical Council said that police "should normally be informed" if a person comes to hospital with a gunshot or wound from a knife.

However, doctors can use their discretion not to tell the police if they consider than no one other than the patient is at risk and that contacting the authorities may cause more harm or distress.

Mayor Sadiq Khan told LBC he was aware of the practice and that if it far too commonplace. He told James O'Brien: "It's something that is happening far too often in London. People using these wig needles, but I've heard stories using super glue and scalpel tweezers as well.

"The concern many young people have who are using DIY methods of treating themselves is that they may be arrested and charged, as well as a concern on personal safety, retaliation and reprisals.

"It's so dangerous. The possibility of infections or internal bleeding - it's just not worth the risk to self-treat."

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