May 23rd is National Stop the Bleed Day. This is the second year that we are focusing on these lifesaving steps. During the month of May, we are focusing on training bystanders to perform simple steps that can greatly increase the chance of survival from a bleeding emergency. Bystander care, given as soon as possible, gives the victim the highest chance of survival.
Why it’s important:
Did you know that about 40% of all trauma related deaths are due to uncontrolled bleeding? The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma states that trauma is the leading cause of death for those up to the age of 45. It is the 4th leading cause of death in all age groups. Events that cause severe bleeding can include accidents in the home, automobile accidents and violent crime. It can happen in any environment and at any time.
What can you do?
Learning these basic steps of First Aid can greatly increase an injured person’s chances of survival.
- Apply direct pressure – This is the first step to control bleeding.
- Apply a dressing – When trauma dressings are available, add them to the process.
- Apply a tourniquet – If the bleeding cannot be controlled with direct pressure, or if you have multiple injuries or victims, apply a tourniquet.
Can I really do this?
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and nervous when considering learning bleeding control techniques. If you have ever taken a first aid course, you have likely been introduced to the first 2 of these steps. Proper training in the use of tourniquets was added to basic first aid curriculum in 2015. More advanced training is now available in specific bleeding control classes. With appropriate training, you do not need to fear using a tourniquet. Years of evidence-based medicine using Civilian and Military statistics have shown that tourniquets applied for less than two hours are safe. These statistics, and increased survival rates, prove the need for more training in our everyday life.