Call for bleed control kits to be rolled out across UK

Call for kits ‘in every village, town and city’ comes after they were used to treat two stab victims in Birmingham at weekend

Bleed control kits were needed twice in Birmingham at the weekend after two men were stabbed in a nightclub, amid growing calls for the equipment to be rolled out nationwide.

Two men aged 30 and 23 were stabbed at a private party at Bambu nightclub in the city centre in the early hours of Saturday morning, and after receiving treatment at the scene thanks to equipment from a nearby bleed control kit they were taken to hospital before being discharged.

The kits were used by a police officer who attended the incident and were installed two months ago by the Daniel Baird Foundation, which has distributed hundreds of the kits across the country in a bid to stop more lives being lost to knife crime as well as delivering training courses.

“It has definitely saved a life. [One of the victim’s] sister messaged me to say how thankful she was her brother could come home,” said Lynne Baird, who set up the charity after her son Daniel was stabbed and killed outside a pub in Birmingham in 2017. “I’ve said from the start they would save lives, and I’ve just got on with trying to do it. We need more training and we need more awareness.”

Daniel Baird and his then partner Gemma Morris
Daniel Baird and his then partner, Gemma Morris. Photograph: Supplied

Her son was 26 years old when he died from catastrophic bleeding after being stabbed on a night out with friends with no first aid equipment nearby. “I just don’t want anybody else to go through what we went through, it’s devastating,” she said. “I want them in every village, town and city in the whole of the UK, and I won’t stop until they’re there. That’s my whole life now and that’s what keeps me going.”

At the Manchester Arena inquiry on Monday, the mother of one of the victims called for the kits to be as readily available as defibrillators. “Application in the first few minutes to a casualty with a significant bleed can literally mean life or death for that person,” said Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was killed aged 29 in the 2017 terror attack.

“We know that time is critical for those casualties to prevent them bleeding to death before emergency responders arrive,” she said in a statement, adding that paramedics can he hampered by the declaration of zones at critical incidents, as happened at Manchester arena, when they took 44 minutes to arrive.

She said the kits should be available “in as many venues as possible”. “Pubs, clubs and restaurants, including their kitchens, sports centres, schools, arenas, industrial companies where machinery is used, the list is endless.”

Bleed control kits, also known as emergency trauma packs, are similar to first aid kits but include trauma dressings, gauze, chest seals and tourniquets to help stop serious bleeding. Campaigners say they will not only help victims of violent crime, but those involve in road traffic accidents or workplace accidents, and could be particularly useful in rural areas where ambulance response times are slower.

Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips said she supports Baird’s call for the kits to be distributed nationally.

“Having worked with Lynne, and now seeing the benefit of these kits, we will try and find the right piece of legislation to put in even at least a review of the need for bleed control kits,” she said.

“Obviously we’ve all got to focus on ending knife crime, but the two things are not mutually exclusive. We’ve got to respond to the world we live in. If my kid was stabbed I’d much rather there was a bleed control kit nearby.”


Jessica Murray Midlands correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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