May is STOP THE BLEED® Awareness Month

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The following article is from HSI.  Very important information about why it is important to understand how to react quickly in response to a major bleeding event!

“May is STOP THE BLEED® Awareness Month

Emergency Care

The annual STOP THE BLEED® national awareness campaign takes place every May. It highlights the need for everyone to be trained in life-saving emergency bleeding control techniques.

The Facts

According to the national campaign:

  • Approximately 40% of trauma-related deaths worldwide are due to bleeding or its consequences, establishing hemorrhage as the most common cause of preventable death in trauma.*
  • Bleeding can quickly become life-threatening. The average time to bleed out is only 2 to 5 minutes.
  • The average first responder arrival time is 7 to 10 minutes.

While first responders do their best to quickly get to the scene of an emergency, minutes count in uncontrolled bleeding situations. Understanding these facts makes it clear that everyone should learn basic bleeding control techniques.

Receiving additional, hands-on training in emergency bleeding techniques can greatly help anyone be better prepared to respond during a life-threatening bleeding situation.

Life-threatening bleeding can be identified by:

Bleeding isn’t always life-threatening, in which case, a full-certification CPR, AED and First Aid training class can be useful. However, because someone who is severely bleeding can bleed to death in less than five minutes, you need to be prepared to respond quickly.

  • Bright red blood that’s spurting from a wound.
  • Blood that won’t stop coming out of a wound.
  • Bleeding in a person who is confused, disoriented, or unconscious.
  • Blood that’s pooling on the ground or soaking heavy clothing.
  • Loss of limb.

How to Respond to Life-Threatening Bleeding

A bleeding injury can happen anywhere at any time. Often, the person next to a bleeding victim will be the one most likely to save them while waiting for professional help to arrive.

If you recognize signs of life-threatening bleeding, act right away using methods to stop the bleed. Three quick emergency bleeding control techniques that can help save a life include:

  1. Applying proper pressure
  2. Correctly packing a wound
  3. Placing a tourniquet

Direct pressure is a standard method to control bleeding anywhere on the body. When applying direct pressure, be sure to:

  • Locate the bleeding. Expose and inspect the wound.
  • Apply direct pressure. Use a clean pad and apply firm and constant pressure directly on the point of bleeding.
  • Maintain pressure. If blood soaks through the pad, leave it in place and apply a second pad on top of the first. When bleeding is controlled, maintain continuous direct pressure.

For a more serious wound, it may be necessary to pack a dressing into the wound to maintain pressure.

If direct pressure can’t control severe bleeding from an arm or leg, you may need to use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

Having an emergency bleeding control kit with essential items close by helps you quickly care for an injured person while you wait for medical help.

Emergency Bleeding and Active Violence Response Training

Interested in learning how to properly apply pressure, pack a wound, and place a tourniquet?

AVERT training — short for Active Violence Emergency Response Training — combines active shooter and emergency bleeding control training into one comprehensive program. Through hands-on training and practice, you’ll learn how to recognize life-threatening bleeding and the steps needed to act right away using stop the bleed methods.

* Curry N, Hopewell S, Doree C, Hyde C, Brohi K, Stanworth S. The acute management of trauma hemorrhage: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Crit Care. 2011;15(2):R92.”