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STREET DOCTORS ARE WE MAKING AN IMPACT?
  1. N McCartan,
  2. J M Colclough,
  3. J P Crewe,
  4. C J Munn,
  5. S A Berry,
  6. C Reeder,
  7. N Loster
  1. School of Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom

Abstract

Objectives & Background Street Doctors is an initiative set up by Liverpool medical students in 2008. The organisation aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with violent crime by equipping ‘at risk' young people with basic life support and first aid skills. The high prevalence of violent crime is indicated by NHS data from 2011/12, showing that 4,490 people were admitted to hospitals across England due to assault with a sharp object. With over 120 student volunteers, Street Doctors is now established in 6 cities where knife crime is becoming a persistent and worrying concern.

Methods A survey was carried out to assess the impact that Street Doctors make during teaching sessions. For each group, there were two teaching sessions; covering basic management of haemorrhage, the recovery position and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A questionnaire was created in which answers were quantified on a scale of 0–10 (with 10 representing the most positive score). These were given to the young offenders to be answered at the beginning and end of each session.

Results The results showed that 50% of the young people had seen someone be shot or stabbed. Of these, 93% felt comfortable speaking about their experiences within the sessions (scoring ≥5/10). 71% of the young offenders noted that they would feel more confident dealing with these situations after attending our teaching, associated with a mean improvement of 1.42 (p=0.04).

Conclusion These results show the positive impact that street doctors are making. The vast majority of attendees leave feeling more confident in their ability to deal with a knife or gunshot wound in the critical moments before an ambulance arrives. As an ever expanding organisation, Street Doctors has an increasing potential to pass on the valuable skills that may one day be used to save a person's life.

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