BBC Home
Explore the BBC
Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June 2008, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
'One knife wound is enough to kill'
Flick knife
The maximum sentence for carrying a knife has risen to four years
A leading A&E consultant at Birmingham's City Hospital says young people don't realise how easy it is to kill someone with a knife.

Doctor Mohammad Ansari also says the number of patients being brought in with stab wounds has shot up over the last two years.

It's after calls to change the law which mean that anyone aged 16 or over who carries a knife could be taken to court in future.

Mr Ansari said: "I've seen young people brought in who've been stabbed once in the chest.

"If the instrument used, which is usually a knife or a screwdriver, goes through the vital organs - especially the heart - then by the time the patient arrives at A&E, they are dead."

According to the Home Office, in 2006/2007 there were 1,046,437 violent crimes in England and Wales, 7% of which involved knives.

That's around 73,250 cases.

Race for time

Mohammad Ansari says people don't have much time to survive if their major organs are seriously injured.

"If they are stabbed through the heart we have only got about five minutes to save the life of the patient
Consultant Mohammad Ansari
He said: "If they are stabbed in the chest, then the chest has the most vital organs in the body.

"Then it is the abdomen, where obviously people have got lots of organs and people can be killed very quickly.

"If they are stabbed through the heart we have only got about five minutes to save the life of the patient. By that time they probably can't get to hospital.

"If somebody is stabbed in the abdomen and they are bleeding from there they've probably got a bit more time - maybe half an hour to an hour depending on what exactly is injured."

'Stabbings are up'

Mohammad Ansari began working at Birmingham's City Hospital 10 years ago after moving from Redditch.

He says the number of people being brought into A&E with stab wounds have rocketed over the last few years.

Home Office anti-knife poster
The Home Office is running a poster campaign to try to cut knife crime
He said: "In 2003/04 we had a sudden rise in stabbings and gunshot wounds.

"In 2006 it started to change again. The number of gunshot wounds started to go down but the stabbings remained the same.

"And last year we saw even more stabbings - around 100 stabbings compared to about 10 gunshot wounds."

Mohammad Ansari says it also takes a long time to fully recover from being stabbed.

He said: "These patients are not only hurt physically they're mentally hurt as well.

"Physical rehabilitation may take a few months but mental rehabilitation may take years because they can't forget the experience they've been through."

Under 18s face knife prosecution
Thursday, 29 May 2008, 10:02 GMT |  The P Word
Visiting Barack Obama's backyard
Wednesday, 4 June 2008, 13:17 GMT |  The P Word
Dog fighting reports rise
Tuesday, 3 June 2008, 12:20 GMT |  The P Word
Used car market takes downturn
Wednesday, 4 June 2008, 07:59 GMT |  The P Word
Young people 'seen in bad light'
Friday, 16 May 2008, 03:09 GMT |  Newsbeat
Metal detectors to target knife crime
Monday, 18 February 2008, 15:06 GMT |  The P Word

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.