Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been offering classes and events to the public on how to stop life-threatening bleeding.
Hershey Medical Center joined an initiative called Stop the Bleed that emerged out of a need for educating the public on lifesaving techniques. As a regional Level I trauma center, Hershey Medical has a mission for outreach and trauma prevention, aligning perfectly with the initiative.
We sat down with Hershey Medical trauma surgeon to discuss the importance of this program in training potential bystanders on how to treat a bleeding wound in traumatic situations.
After the devastating Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, medical professionals discovered most deaths could have been prevented if bystanders had known how to control bleeding. Stop the Bleed was started to educate communities around the United States.
Hershey Medical Center hosts Stop the Bleed training sessions at the hospital twice a month. A number of other locations host training sessions throughout Pennsylvania.
Why is Stop the Bleed important?
Most people will never be affected by a shooting incident, but they can be injured at home, work, or in a car accident. Stop the Bleed seeks to educate and equip citizens to respond in these situations.
You can bleed out from a wound in as little as three minutes. But, if you attend a one-hour Stop the Bleed session, you get hands-on training that could save a life.
Learning techniques to stop uncontrolled bleeding is just as important as receiving proper CPR training. The techniques have been proven effective in controlling fatal bleeding through evidence-based research in the military and civilian worlds.
How to Stop the Bleed
The first step when encountering an uncontrollable bleed is to find the source and compress or apply pressure. Then, call 911 to get professional help.
Dr. Chandler said, “The primary principles for stopping a bleed are to identify the source of bleeding, compress the artery so the bleeding stops, and get help as you are only temporizing the bleed.”
If you’re unable to make the call, ask a bystander.
Anyone can perform these first-aid techniques if they receive proper training. As a member of your community, you are encouraged to become equipped with this lifesaving skill.