GRAFTON, Vt. – For the past few years, a national program known as “Stop The Bleed” has been in place to inform and educate people in the community to take life saving action when they are at the scene of an injury involving severe bleeding. Traumatic injuries involving uncontrolled hemorrhaging of blood is the second leading cause of death for those under 45. Evidence suggests that 50 percent of those deaths, which are due to external bleeding, could be preventable with appropriate action at the time of the injury. Since it’s unlikely a fully trained EMS responder would be present quickly enough to beat the 50 percent odds, it’s critical for a bystander with some limited training to step in and make the difference until EMS arrives.
There are a few basic steps that nearly anyone can learn in order to “stop the bleed” and as a bystander provide immediate lifesaving care. These steps have primarily come out of the experience the military has had dealing with traumatic injuries and has revived the use of the tourniquet with more easily applied devices as well as special compresses and blood stopping hemostatic substances.
The significance of everyone learning how to “stop the bleed” is the potential they have for being a bystander at such an injury. Consider the number of people in this region who work at occupations with a high risk of traumatic injury such as farming, logging, construction, or property maintenance. Then there are others who have hobbies or are engaged in home maintenance projects using power tools or heavy equipment. Also consider those participating in outdoor activities like dirt biking, skiing, hunting, snowmobiling, or riding ATVs. Clearly a lot of people in their everyday activities could be a bystander or even find themselves directly experiencing a serious bleeding injury.
Grafton Rescue is providing the opportunity to learn the basic skills to control traumatic bleeding in a special “Stop The Bleed” class on Tuesday, March 13 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Grafton Elementary School. This class is available at no cost but it’s limited to 40 people so advance registration is a must.
The class will be conducted by professional trainers from the Community-911-Training group and will include hands on training with tourniquets, pressure compresses, and hemostatic agents using simulators, which allows participants to experience what it is like to deal with uncontrolled bleeding.
An additional feature is that, graduates of the class will be able to acquire a kit with a tourniquet, pressure bandage, gloves, and hemostatic gauze for half the actual cost, courtesy of a subsidy from the Windham Foundation. Advance registration is required and can be done by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 802-843-2401 and leaving a message with your contact information.