“Stop the Bleed” with Tourniquets

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

After the tragic events of the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012, the White House enacted a campaign called “Stop the Bleed” which aimed to teach citizens how to react in mass casualty situations, specifically incidents that involve severe bleeding, as well as how to react during an accident at home, work or school. Essentially, the campaign wants to prepare as many people as possible to become effective first responders that can keep a victim alive until professional paramedics can arrive to the scene.

Did you know that, in the USA, it takes paramedics, on average, eight minutes to arrive at a scene? A victim suffering severe blood loss can die within five minutes, which really highlights the importance of this campaign.

Janco Bronkhorst wrote a great article that goes over this campaign and some basic tips for such situations, which you can read, in full, here. Here’s an excerpt from Bronkhorst’s article:

When responding to a trauma situation, the first step is to immediately call 911. Turning to the victim, there are three important steps to follow: first, apply firm pressure to the site of the bleeding; then, expose the site of the wound and apply firm pressure with bandages or dressing; if this does not stop the bleeding, apply a tourniquet, following the regulations given by the Red Cross. If the bleeding persists, apply a second tourniquet.

Cities are initiating “Stop the Bleed” training events and fairs, where people can learn firsthand from healthcare workers how to properly treat a serious injury; placing first aid kits in locations, such as schools, police cruisers, and office buildings; and raising awareness of how simple it is for people to help an injured person with their hands. Many cities are passing bills that mandate placing tourniquets and other trauma items, such as pressure dressings and gloves, in high-risk buildings such as schools and government offices. Officials behind “Stop the Bleed” are hopeful that trauma training will become as commonplace as CPR training one day soon. Just one person in a crowd can make a difference in saving lives, which is the message they hope to get across.

Many people already carry basic first aid kits with them on their daily routines. “Stop the Bleed” officials want everyone to consider adding a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) to their kit. The CAT was designed to be light and simple, yet durable and powerful; an injured person can use it on themselves if need be.


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