Yemi Hughes

Bleed Control Kits could save London stab victim’s lives, says bereaved Croydon mum

By Ellen Halliday
March 2 2020, 13.00

Catastrophic bleed control kits should be widely available in public spaces across London, according to a Croydon mum who lost her son to knife crime.

Yemi Hughes’ son Andre Aderemi, 19, was stabbed 26 times on August 16 2016 on Monks Hill Estate in Croydon. 

His attackers were men who had once slept under his roof and been fed by his mother but had fallen out with Andre when he supported another friend against them.

Yemi said: “My son was stabbed to death 26 times and had a catastrophic bleed – but I didn’t know that until the trial.

“Andre ran quite a long way after he was stabbed, down the road and round the corner.

“I’ve got the backpack he was wearing at home and it’s got loads of knife holes in it, so they were already stabbing him in the back as he was running.

“If you looked down the road you could actually see blood footprints. He was dripping with blood.

“He collapsed on the grass and then they just kept on stabbing him.”

Medics managed to repair Andre’s punctured lung on the street, but catastrophic bleeding meant his brain was deprived of oxygen. 

Yemi said: “He was a right little fighter, but after the fourth cardiac arrest he was brain dead.

“I wouldn’t have wanted them to pull him back from that and I don’t think he would have either.”

Now Yemi believes that Andre could have been saved by Blood Control Kits pioneered by Birmingham-based charity, the Daniel Baird Foundation.

The charity worked with the City of London Police to put 320 Bleed Control Kits in bars, nightclubs and other venues across the City of London in November.

The £96 kits include items like scissors, tourniquets, and special bandages made of crushed shrimp shell, which are particularly effective in clotting blood.

A Bleed Control Kit
LIFE SAVERS: The individual components of the kit can be replaced when needed. Credit: PROMETHEUS MEDICAL

On average, an ambulance takes seven minutes to reach someone with a life-threatening injury whilst someone who has been fleeing from an attacker can bleed to death within three to five minutes.

Yemi said: “The more you’re running, the more your heart is pumping.”

Yemi and the Croydon Says No initiative against knife crime are raising funds to get 100 life-saving kits into the hands of Croydon residents, who are often the first on the scene in those critical moments after stabbings. 

The kits would be available in places like shops and fast-food restaurants where the paths of young people cross.

Nichole Young, 39, from Croydon Says No said: “The kits buy minutes so that the kids can get the treatment that they actually need. They buy time.”

The Metropolitan Police have specialised units and officers equipped with advanced medical kits but currently have no plans to roll out Bleed Control Kits in publicly accessible venues. 

Yemi said: “This isn’t going to stop knife crime but it is going to save a life. 

“Something like this could be the difference between Andre being here today and not.

“The more there are of these kits, the higher the chances that it will be available when someone really needs it.”

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