Suze Diaz… A thought crossed my mind as I watched videos and read posts about the tragedy that befell a concert event in Las Vegas earlier this month. It seems that there were regular citizens who were able to save people’s lives before first responders could reach them. Questions ran through my mind as to how they were able to do this and wondered if I could learn to be prepared to help others should I find myself in a similar unfortunate situation.
The answers came a few days later on a Facebook post. The San Diego Union Tribune had written about “tourniquets, training to turn bystanders into first responders” during mass casualty events. Looking deeper for more information, I found that there were training classes being held this month. I chose to attend the class at Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego this past week. There are no age limits to the classes and they are offered at no cost.
Renee Douglas, RN, MS, CPEN, TCRN, PHN is the Trauma Program Manager at Rady’s Children’s Hospital and facilitated the workshop course: “Bleeding Control (B-CON) Basic”. Previously noted as Associate Trauma Coordinator, Renee has been the Trauma Program Manager for the past 5 years and is dedicated to help expand community awareness by focusing on getting citizens prepared through the cooperative education efforts of the “Stop The Bleed” program.
“Stop The Bleed” is part of BleedingControl.org, an initiative of the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus. According to their information booklet written by Peter T. Pons, MD, FACEP and Lenworth Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS: “Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. The greater the number of people who know how to control bleeding in an injured patient, the greater the chances of surviving that injury.” The attention given by an immediate responder can often make the difference between life and death, even before professional rescuers arrive. The focus of the program is on:
- The immediate response to bleeding
- Recognizing life-threatening bleeding
- Learning appropriate ways to stop the bleeding
During the course, I was observing the material along with a group of students who were participating from a local middle school. The students were willing to learn the ways they can save a life with the procedures taught by Renee. After a detailed slide presentation of the principles of trauma care response and the various points to control bleeding, we were able to use the tourniquet materials to practice on each other and learn proper wound packing and pressure with hemostatic dressings to use on created displays. We also were informed on what to do in the event that a full trauma first aid kit is not available.
The response time for medical attention is 5 to 10 minutes. The more people in the community are aware and trained in these procedures, the better the percentages of injured individuals survive. In an effort to expand community outreach, there is growing support for pre-positioned trauma and bleeding control kits to be available in public locations such as movie theaters, schools, sporting events, concert venues and malls. Individual mobile kits are suggested to be available for civilians as well as officers and first responders. Each personal bleeding control kit has the materials needed to save a life and contains a detailed picture booklet to ensure that no important information is missed when the adrenaline is pumping.
By the end of the course, I was grateful to Renee Douglas and Rady’s Children’s Hospital for providing this important workshop. Our communities can be further reinforced with additional strength through knowledge. With the right training, we all can help save lives.
For more information on workshop classes, resources, and how to empower your own community by performing as a course instructor, please go to the website at http://www.bleedingcontrol.org