Would you know what to do if you needed to help someone who was bleeding uncontrollably? Recent mass shootings have brought more attention to the importance of bleeding control. Saving someone’s life can be simple if you have the knowledge necessary to jump into action. Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of death in trauma.
This is where the “Stop the Bleed” initiative comes in. “Stop the Bleed” teaches civilians simple techniques of bleeding control. This includes direct pressure, wound packing and tourniquet use. The training includes an informational slide presentation as well as hands-on skills training.
“Stop the Bleed” is an action plan from the American College of Surgeons and The Committee on Trauma. The goal is to train the general public on hemorrhage/bleeding control. The initiative came from a document called the Hartford Consensus in 2013. The authors of this document said that some victims from the the Sandy Hook shooting and Boston marathon bombing could have lived if people nearby had known how to control bleeding.
There are a few simple steps to “Stop the Bleed” after you make sure it is safe for you to help the injured person.
- A – Alert – Call 9-1-1
- B – Bleeding – find where the bleeding is coming from
- C – Compress – cover the wound with a clean cloth and press, use a tourniquets or pack the wound with cloth or gauze
Stop the Bleed skills can be used in the event of mass shootings or terrorist attacks, but they can also be used for more common accidents such as industrial injuries or car wrecks.
On March 31, New Hanover Regional Medical Center Trauma Services participated in National Stop the Bleed Day by educating the public at Independence Mall in Wilmington. Staff spread the word about the importance of bleeding control. Passersby were able to practice bleeding control skills with tourniquets and gauze.
The NHRMC Trauma Services department has already trained over 400 people in “Stop the Bleed,” including hospital employees, high school students and teachers, and government employees in New Hanover and surrounding counties.
If you have a group of any size interested in being trained to “Stop the Bleed,” contact Trauma Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.