The number of stabbing victims with life-threatening injuries treated by specialist trauma doctors has increased by 34% in two years, according to NHS figures obtained by the Guardian.

Doctors are also reporting an increase in the severity of attacks, with victims increasingly arriving in hospital with multiple puncture wounds

“Previously we used to see one or two wounds per victim. Now we are frequently seeing multiple wounds, five or sometimes 10 stab injuries on a single patient,” said Dr Ross Davenport, a consultant trauma and vascular surgeon at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, east London

Figures from nine of the NHS’s 11 regional major trauma centres in England that treat adults and children show that they dealt with 1,697 victims of serious knife crime in 2015-16 but 2,278 in 2017-18 – up 34.2%. Cases involving adults have risen 37%, whereas under-18s have jumped by 24.4%.

At King’s College hospital in London, the number of adults treated for knife wounds rose from 249 in 2015-16 to 406 last year. The capital’s three other major trauma centres also saw big increases over the same two-year period.

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