Stop the Bleed

Do you know how to stop life-threatening bleeding? Do you have what it takes to show your non-medical friends how to do it? A group of NEOMED students recently learned these hands-on skills at “Stop the Bleed: Train the Trainer,” an event designed to instruct healthcare professionals how to teach laypeople to control life-threatening bleeding.  

“Stop the Bleed” is a national campaign created in response to increased gun violence and mass casualty incidents. With recent events like the tragic shooting in Las Vegas fresh in our minds, NEOMED students who trained at the session on Oct. 16 are now prepared not only to provide help, but also to empower others to act in the first critical minutes of a bleeding emergency.

Nearly 100 students gathered in the Great Hall to learn skills that could prove life-saving in any setting, since a person who is bleeding could die of blood loss within five minutes. During “Stop the Bleed: Train the Trainer,” students practiced teaching others how to pack a simulated gunshot wound or laceration, and how to apply a tourniquet. They also discussed what bystanders could do if supplies such as gauze or a commercially made tourniquet were not available.

The NEOMED event was hosted by the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), Surgery Interest Group (SIG), and Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG), with instruction from clinical faculty member Nancy Gantt, M.D., a professor of surgery at Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown and AWS group advisor, along with a team of physicians and nurses from Mercy Health.

No matter how quickly emergency medical services arrive, bystanders will always be the people who can help control a bleeding emergency—but only if they know how to and act fast. Students who attended the event are now “Stop the Bleed-” certified to train, equip and empower bystanders. These student trainers plan to take their teaching into the community soon.

 

--Sharon Klapec, a second-year College of Medicine student, contributed this article.

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