What would you do if someone was bleeding from a major trauma? Would you know what to do?
Would you know that you probably only have a few minutes to save that person’s life, and that if the bleed was bad enough, an ambulance might not be able to get to you in time?
Now St. David’s Health Care is offering classes called Stop the Bleed, which teaches you what to do if you need to render aid to someone who is bleeding. (The next one is Aug. 22.) Think of it as the CPR class for bleeding. Instead of learning how to keep a person’s heart and lungs circulating, you’re learning how to prevent someone from bleeding out.
Kristen Hullum, a registered nurse and trauma injury prevention coordinator for St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, says the class teaches what to do with what you have.
It reminds you to call 911, as well as make sure the scene is safe for you to help the person without being injured yourself.
Then it shows you how to look for the source of the bleeding, how to apply pressure, how to pack a wound, how to apply a tourniquet or two to stop the bleeding, and how to try to keep the area clean.
The class teaches you to improvise with what you have, but part of the Stop The Bleed program is to get more bleeding control kits in public places such as schools, churches and offices. Each kit, which sell for $69 online at Stopthebleed.org, has a tourniquet, a bleeding control dressing, a permanent marker, protective gloves and a compression bandage as well as an instruction booklet. The idea is that you would put these kits wherever you’ve installed the defibrillator device used in a heart emergency.
Unlike in a heart attack situation, you would want to have more than one kit available if there was a situation like a mass shooting or a tornado, which could cause more than one person to be bleeding.
Hullum really wants school districts to consider training their staff as well as stocking schools with the kits. She is working with Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council, which is focusing on getting both law enforcement officers and school staffs trained as well as supplied with kits.
In recent years, schools have been doing drills with students and staff about what to do if a suspicious person arrives on campus, but not how to save someone if that suspicious person did start shooting.
“No school wants to think they’re going to have a mass casualty to their school,” Hullum says. “We really emphasize the class is for any type of bleeding from the wood shop to the playground. Kids do crazy things.”
If you’re interested in getting a class at your school or other public space, contact Brett Shryock at the council at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-926-6184.
Stop the Bleed Class
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 22
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, 901 W. Ben White Blvd. Auditorium A
To register, contact Lydia Blankenship at email@example.com or 512-816-8037.