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Birmingham student stabbed with a needle during freshers week


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Two Birmingham students have been stabbed with medical needles at separate fresher events forming part of the University of Birmingham's official Refresher's Fest.

Second-year Classics student, Kirsty Knell, was targeted with a needle at Rosie’s club on Broad Street on the 27th September during fresher's week.

Image courtesy of Kirsty Knell.

Kirsty, who was dancing with her boyfriend at the time of the assault, recalls feeling a sharp pain in her upper spine which caused her to move backwards into a pillar for protection.

She was treated by the club medic, who advised her to visit her local GP.

The following morning, the practitioner diagnosed Kirsty with a needlestick injury and referred her to Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Accident and Emergency department where she spent six hours in A&E undergoing multiple blood tests. Due to waiting times, she felt pressured instead to travel to Kettering Hospital's A&E, where her mother works as a nurse, a journey which takes over an hour by car.

Speaking to The National Student, Kirsty says, “When I went to the GP, he said that this type of incident has happened before. He seemed very sure it was a needle stick injury and not merely a safety pin like my friends had suggested."

"There was no suggestion of what might have been on or in the needle," she says.

Worryingly, the event, which forms a part of the official University of Birmingham's Fresher's Fest designed for first-year students, is only accessible by students showing both a government-issued ID and valid student ID. 

"Most of the people attending were UoB students, which makes me feel very uncomfortable about going on more nights out," Kirsty explains.

In the same week, another University of Birmingham student was assaulted in a similar attack with a needle at the University of Birmingham's student night Fab ‘n Fresh, which takes place every Saturday on campus.

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, says that they were attacked on Saturday the 29th September during Fab 'n Fresh.

Since the incident, Kirsty has been administered a course of Hepatitis B jabs as a precautionary measure. While the test results have come back as normal, she has been advised that other symptoms may take time to show up.

Both students have reported the attacks to the University of Birmingham's Guild of Students and the police.

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