New Federal ‘Stop the Bleed’ Program Aims to Save Lives

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Stop the Bleed is a new federal training program designed to stop victims of mass shootings from bleeding to death while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Every licensed medical technician from basic through intermediate to paramedic knows the phrase “Is my scene safe?” Failure to use that phrase at the beginning of each practical exam results in immediate failure.

Medical technicians are not allowed to enter a crime scene until the police officer in charge says the scene is safe. As a result, injured parties in active shooter situations sometimes have to wait for treatment.

The new initiative “Stop the Bleed” is designed to train everyday citizens in how to stop bleeding wounds whether from a gunshot wound or a stabbing. The program teaches teachers and school custodians how to stop bleeding using common objects like shoelaces or a belt to form a tourniquet.

shoe laces

Photo: Shoe laces By Marcos André 

According to FOXLA, Rob Schmitt said on “Happening Now” that they are preparing for nightmare situations that have become all too real in the United States.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) is offering a bleeding control course for local health professionals and the general public. The course will teach students how to stop bleeding quickly by applying direct pressure, and if necessary, applying a tourniquet.

The El Paso Herald reports Emergency Physician Scott Crawford, M.D., said, “A bystander’s response to trauma can be lifesaving. It’s important for people to get trained so they can stop a hemorrhage in a traumatic event.” Uncontrolled bleeding can lead to death in mere minutes.

applying a tourniquet bleed
Photo: Flickr/Wheeler Cowperthwaite

This initiative comes along after the unnecessary death of 18-year-old Akyra Murray. Murray, shot in the arm during the Pulse Nightclub attack bled to death in the ladies’ room while she texted her parents. If any of the bystanders had basic bleeding control skills, Murray would have lived.

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