Stop the Bleed!
by Sher Brown
March 31 was National “Stop the Bleed” Day. You may have noticed the posters or ads in the media, informing people of the initiative that was launched in October of 2015 by the White House. Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and a call to action. Stop the Bleed classes and posters are popping up everywhere in an effort to encourage bystanders to become trained, and properly equipped so they can help in critical situations while they’re waiting for EMS to arrive. Why the big push? It’s simple. According to a recent National Academies of Science study, trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 46. In rural areas, we are more likely to die from trauma than our urban neighbors. The reason? Time.
The initiative began in response to the Boston Marathon bombing, where many people were seriously injured. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, and quick action by both civilians and trained professionals saved lives by using military-based techniques for hemorrhage control. With the increase in school shootings and events like the concert shooting in Las Vegas, spreading the word about Stop the Bleed becomes even more important.
In Catron County, we’re not as likely to have something like the Boston Marathon Bombing, but who’s to say we’re not just as likely to have a shooting at the local rodeo or one of the schools? Even if you discount these possible mass casualties, think of instances like hunting accidents, chain saw accidents, or motor vehicle accidents. Even if we could get to you as quickly as they do in the city, bystanders will always be the first on scene. Our county is beyond remote. Help can be an hour or more away. If you can learn one simple thing to help save someone’s life, wouldn’t you want to do it? Call 911 Make sure the scene is safe. If it’s not, stay away. If you can move the victim to safety without endangering yourself, then do so.
Step 1: Step 2: Step 3:
Expose the wound so you know what you’re dealing with.
Apply firm, steady pressure—preferably with both hands. Wear gloves if you have them. You can ask the patient to apply pressure if they’re able.
If you have a sterile dressing, perfect— use that to place on the wound and continue applying pressure. If not, use a shirt, towel, jacket, anything that can help.
The important thing is constant, firm pressure. Step 6:
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you’ll need to apply a tourniquet 2-3 inches above the wound. Tighten the tourniquet until the bleeding stops and mark the time the tourniquet was applied. Write the time on the patient or the tourniquet itself.
DO NOT LOOSEN THE TOURNIQUET.
If the bleeding continues, either apply a second tourniquet just above the original tourniquet (closer to the torso) or tighten the original tourniquet.
You’ll start seeing Stop the Bleed kits mounted on walls in public places in more urban areas. Personal Stop the Bleed kits are available online. It contains gloves, scissors, compression bandages, quick clot and a tourniquet. If you don’t have a proper tourniquet, you can improvise with items such as, triangle bandages or torn shirts and a stick for a windlass. Shoe strings are too narrow and belts may not be flexible enough to be effective.
In the near future, Stop the Bleed classes will be held for the general public in Catron County. Watch for notices and bring the whole family to a class when it comes to your area. ◊◊◊ Henry Ford Have you ever thought about the fact that politicians can lie without any consequence, yet if you lie to the police or to a judge you can go to jail?