A person can bleed to death in five minutes from a traumatic injury. Bystanders’ actions to quickly stop the bleeding can save a life before professional emergency responders arrive.
DCH is educating and training two local schools in the Stop the Bleed campaign. Lynn Morrison, trauma coordinator for DCH Regional Medical Center, along with other staff from Trauma Services and the Emergency Department, recently trained more than 45 faculty members at Hillcrest High School. Another session was planned for Flatwoods Elementary School. DCH has a relationship with both schools through the Adopt-A-School program.
The Stop the Bleed training can be applied to any person who has a traumatic injury, whether it’s from a gunshot or stabbing, hunting accident, motor vehicle crash, etc., Morrison said.
“We encourage calling 911 ASAP, but it can take professional emergency responders anywhere from eight to 30 minutes to respond depending on the location of the emergency, such as rural areas.”
With violence becoming more prevalent as seen in the increasing number of school shootings, the campaign is timely.
“We wanted to bring awareness to the possibility of a school shooting and, more importantly, help the faculty and staff at the schools to be prepared,” Morrison said.
In a lockdown situation, EMS is not allowed into a school until the shooter is in custody, she noted. So the act of providing lifesaving interventions will fall on the school’s faculty.
DCH provided Hillcrest with 16 Stop the Bleed kits and will give Flatwoods Elementary eight kits. Each kit contains gauze, a tourniquet, a compression bandage, a marker and a pair of gloves. Trauma scissors also were added to the kits, thanks to a donation by the NorthStar/NorthFlight air medical ambulance provider.
During the Hillcrest presentation, Morrison explained how to use the Stop the Bleed kits but also how to use everyday items to create tourniquets or bandages. Articles of clothing, belts, scarves, purse straps and lanyards can all be used as substitutes.
Trauma is the leading cause of death for people younger than age 46, Morrison said.
“Our goal is to bring awareness to this statistic and help others learn how to prevent these deaths. If we can teach our community ways to minimize bleeding before a person gets to the hospital, we can help save lives.”
While the current plan is to train staff at the two DCH Adopt-A-Schools, Morrison said she would be willing to train other schools in the Stop the Bleed program.
The national awareness campaign was launched in October 2015 by the White House.