London's Air Ambulance Supports 'Medical Skills for Young Offenders' Project

London Air Ambulance has announced its collaboration with The Liverpool Project, which has been set up to teach young offenders the basic medical skills necessary to manage victims of violent attacks. Young offenders, who are often present at the scene of violent incidents are trained to provide immediate hemorrhage control in the vital minutes after injury until the arrival of the emergency services.

Training shows young people how to recognise the symptoms of blood loss, how to manage a penetrating wound, how to carry out the recovery position, how to perform CPR, how to calm the victim and how to respond when medical teams arrive.

The Liverpool Project is led by recently qualified doctors and medical students. Medical students are selected for their ability to engage and use appropriate communication skills with young offenders. In doing so The Liverpool Project team is able to highlight the consequences of penetrating trauma and therefore have a direct impact upon young people’s attitudes towards high risk behaviours thus helping to prevent further violence.

Recent successes have encouraged the expectation that the teaching provided by the young doctors working for the Project will directly result in a reduction in morbidity and mortality from penetrating injuries in the UK. Although the project started in Merseyside, it has been cascaded to several other cities in the UK.

“The need for this sort of public health intervention is there in most of the cities in the UK. Young people in general, and particularly those who are known to the criminal justice system are witnessing more and more penetrating trauma," said Dr. Nick Rhead from Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool and one of the founders of the project. "We therefore train these young people to deliver immediate care as they are all too often present at the scene of a violent attack–essentially providing a reservoir of potential healthcare providers. They are therefore able to act positively to help save a friend’s life in the moments that matter providing a healthier victim for services such as London’s Air Ambulance.

“That’s why collaboration between London’s Air Ambulance and The Liverpool Project is particularly beneficial. The Liverpool Project will benefit greatly from the skill and experience that London’s Air Ambulance provides and this will ultimately improve training provided to the young people—reducing morbidity and mortality from penetrating trauma, the third biggest cause of death amongst this age group.”

London’s Air Ambulance attends stabbings and shootings on a daily basis and this category of callout is the most common after road traffic collisions in the Capital.

Commenting on the collaboration, London’s Air Ambulance Research and Development Lead Professor David Lockey said: “Unfortunately knife and gun crime is high amongst the young population of London and our doctors and paramedics witness the negative effects of this daily. We are delighted to collaborate with this innovative project run by committed and dynamic young medics and believe it has the potential to impact on this growing and destructive problem in London and elsewhere. London’s Air Ambulance will provide support to the project as it develops and expands."

The project has already been the subject of discussion and has received the following awards:

  • Named as one of Britain’s New Radicals 2012
  • Kids Count’s Best Contribution to Youth Issues 2012
  • Selected to work with Emerge Venture Lab (a social venture accelerator)

For more on the Liverpool Project, visit