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999-emergency teams keep track of London's knife crime-wave

PUBLISHED: 17:06 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:40 05 October 2010

THE NUMBER of stab victims being treated by medics at the Royal London Hospital is increasing and the hospital is launching an investigation into the number of cases of knife and gun crime victims it sees. By the end of August this year staff had treated

THE NUMBER of stab victims being treated by medics at the Royal London Hospital is increasing and the hospital is launching an investigation into the number of cases of knife and gun crime victims it sees.

By the end of August this year staff had treated 171 patients with major stab wounds, compared with 185 for the whole of last year.

So far this year 27 teenagers in London have died from stab wounds and some of them have been treated at the Royal London, including 14-year-old David Idowu, who died at the hospital three weeks after he was stabbed in Southwark and Dylan Bates-Fox, 21, who died at the hospital on the same day as David after he was stabbed in Bethnal Green.

Sir John Cass pupil Shaquile Smith also died at the hospital this summer after he was stabbed in the liver.

According to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act the trauma team at A & E saw 214 patients who had serious stab injuries in 2006.

The Whitechapel Road hospital is London's leading trauma and emergency care centre. It is starting a research project to collect details about patients treated at the hospital with a serious penetrating injury from gunfire or stabbing, the injuries can be accidental but are usually deliberate.

Medics are collecting data on the type of injury the patient is suffering from, the cause and where it occurred.

Hospital spokesman Dan Wheelahan said: "The data being collected will not identify individuals, will only be taken with their consent and will not be linked to criminal records.

"This data will be used to improve outcomes and survival rates for victims of penetrative injuries and inform preventative strategies and public health initiatives in order to reduce the incidence and severity of penetrative injuries."

The Barts and the Royal London Trust is having talks with the Government Office for London, Department for Public Health, the Greater London Authority, and key London hospitals to expand the project across other A&E hospitals throughout London.

Between April and July this year there had been 26 crime victims under 18 in Tower Hamlets where a knife had been used, carried or intimated to the victim.

According to police figures 106 youngsters under 18 had been victims of knife crime in the 12 months up to April and six children aged 17 and under were stabbed in Tower Hamlets last year.

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