06 April 2018

British Red Cross issues first aid advice for stabbing injuries following spate of violence across London

Joe Mulligan, Head of First Aid Education at the British Red Cross, said:

 “It’s tragic that lives have been lost to knife attacks across London. In this type of emergency the actions of the first person on the scene are vital and could prove lifesaving before the emergency services arrive.

If someone has been stabbed, the most important thing is that the injured person receives immediate attention. Advice from the British Red Cross is simple. Put pressure on the wound, call 999 and make sure you keep pressing on the wound until help arrives. If there is an object in the wound don’t remove it.”

How to help someone who is bleeding heavily

Anyone who has been stabbed or is bleeding heavily needs immediate attention. Lives can be lost when people don’t know how to help.

Helping someone who is bleeding heavily is straightforward. Just follow these steps and you could save someone’s life.

Three simple steps to help someone:

  1. Put pressure on the wound with whatever is available to stop or slow down the flow of blood.
  2. Call 999.
  3. Keep pressure on the wound until help arrives.

What if there is an object in the wound?

If there is an object in the wound, don’t remove it as this could make the bleeding a lot worse. Apply pressure around it.

The person looks pale, feels cold and is dizzy. What does this mean?

This means there isn’t enough blood flowing through the body.

This physical response to an injury is called shock, and it can be life threatening.

If you suspect someone is going into shock:

  • continue to apply pressure to the wound to stop the blood coming out
  • call 999 if you haven’t already done so
  • lie them down and lift their feet higher than the rest of their body. This keeps their legs higher than their heart, which helps
  • increase blood flow to their brain and heart
  • reassure them and wrap them in coats or a blanket to keep them warm

Is there anything else I can do?

The best thing you can do is keep pressing on the wound and wait for an ambulance to arrive.


Get first aid advice at your fingertips with our the free British Red Cross First Aid app or Baby and Child First Aid app. Available for Apple via iTunes or Android via Google Play

For further information: press@redcross.org.uk

Spokespeople available

Contact number: 0207 877 7557 
Out of hours: 07710 391703

For more information about the British Red Cross visit: www.redcross.org.uk / Twitter @BritishRedCross

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.