Doctors want drinks to be served in plastic to stop 'glassing'


Up to 300 people a week are believed to be injured when glasses are used as weapons in pub brawls



A&E doctors want pubs and clubs to stop serving alcohol in glasses to reduce the number of people attacked with them as weapons. Up to 300 people a week are believed to be "glassed" in pub brawls.

Medical organisations want licensed premises to use tumblers made of a shatter-proof plastic called polycarbonate glassware. Trials in Hull and Lancashire have shown the switch reduces the number of serious facial and neck injuries, that can sometimes be fatal.

The A&E doctors, together with the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the British Medical Association, support the change. A glass is the most common weapon in fights in pubs and bars. Football grounds were banned from selling alcohol in glass containers some years ago.

Since the introduction of the trial in Hull in 2008, nobody has been injured because of "glassing" and the local NHS has saved £7.2m in eye surgery costs.

Research presented tomorrow at a conference in London on safety shows young people are happy to drink from plastic containers, whereas older drinkers prefer glass. "It's much easier to eliminate glass than knives. Young people don't mind plastic, but people over 40 prefer glass because, they say, it keeps the drink cooler, which is nonsense," said Alasdair Forsyth of the centre for study of violence at Glasgow Caledonian University.

John Heyworth, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, representing casualty doctors, said: "It would be a good first step to put these shatter-proof glasses into pubs and clubs which are known to be associated with alcohol-related violence, and then move to all pubs and clubs; and for all drinks, including wine, not just beer.

"When a glass is used a weapon, it can damage arteries and major blood vessels around the face and neck and may endanger life. It often causes wounds which require extensive surgery and lead to lifelong disfigurements through scars around the eyes, mouth, nose and cheeks."

A BMA spokeswoman said: "We believe it is a good idea. We do not think it will necessarily decrease violence, but it should reduce the consequences of drunken brawls."

artery : arteria

associated with : związany z

blood vessels : naczynia krwionośne

brawl : awantura, burda

casualty doctor : lekarz z ostrego dyżuru

disfigurement : zniekształcenie; oszpecenie

fatal : śmiertelny; fatalny

glassware : wyroby ze szkła

licensed premises : lokal, w którym można kupić i wypić alkohol, lokal z licencją na alkohol

lifelong : na całe życie

polycarbonate : poliwęglan

require : wymagać

shatter-proof : nietłukący się

switch : zmiana, przestawienie się

tumbler : szklanka

whereas : podczas gdy

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